New Enemy of Wine Consumers Appointed

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association (WSWA), whose values can be succinctly reduced to  “what’s good for the consumers…just doesn’t matter” has a new CEO and president in the wake of former WSWA president Craig Wolf’s resignation and venture into electoral politics. Michelle Korsmo is the new head of the trade association that represents the interests of the wholesalers.

It’s good to know that she is already on board with the program:

“I am also inspired by the industry’s record of accomplishment. Family-owned wholesalers, along with supplier and retailer partners, and state and federal legislators and regulators, have together built the safest, and most well-regulated and enterprising beverage marketplace in the world. But there is no denying that it operates in a disruptive economy and the association must be prepared for the future.”

She adds:

“Finding consumer-focused solutions for these challenges is an opportunity I welcome, and I’m excited about what the future holds”

“Consumer-focused solutions”. Hmmm. Allow me to offer a suggestion for President Korsmo: Let Consumers Buy What They Want and From Whom They Want. 

Neither I nor consumers nor members of the wine industry ought to hold their breath waiting to discover if President Korsmo will continue the WSWA tradition of working as hard as possible to fuck consumers and the rest of the industry by insisting all alcohol-related regulations and laws protect wholesaler profits first and protect them from having to fairly compete on a level playing field. She will.

But here’s an interesting tidbit. For four years Ms. Korsmo held the position of Executive Vice President for the Koch Brothers-funded American’s For Prosperity Foundation. AFP’s primary goal was to derail any and all regulations. You know, like those that prohibit consumers from purchasing wine from an out-of-state source or prohibiting retailers and restaurants from doing business directly with alcohol producers without the government-mandated imposition of profit siphoning middlemen wholesalers.

We don’t usually ask whether people believe in the cause of the political organizations they get paid by because we assume they will simply spout out whatever they are told as long as their salary is paid. By adding the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association to her resume, we have confirmation that Ms. Korsmo’s declarations of what is right for or what should be done with regard to alcohol public policy is the result of a smooth, straight pipe running from her paymasters, through her larynx and out to the world. 

It’s inhospitable of me to launch into Ms. Korsmo on her first day on the job. I know that. I should at least first give her time to screw over American consumers and the wine trade. I suspect that won’t take too long. It’s a tradition with wholesaler mouthpieces.

7 Responses

  1. Patricia - July 20, 2018

    Fascinating. As a non-USA consumer, I guess I do not even count, but the three-tier system is relevant to my BMWs (Budding Masters of Wine), who do require knowledge of the American/Canadian/Australian and any other systems out there. Life-enhancing to read. So thank you.

  2. Alan Goldfarb - July 20, 2018

    Very provocative post Tom; keep on doing it. However, you left out a few words in the title of the K-Bros’. (I don’t want to spell out their name) organization. It’s:

    Americans For Prosperity For Me, Not You

  3. Rick Carney - July 23, 2018

    Tom, very well written. This is a sad tale. There are some great wines out there that have no chance other than DtC.

  4. Jeremiah S. - July 25, 2018

    Just another figurehead of Wirtz and Glazer family-owned wholesalers funded cowboy office?

    But where does it say that Consumers CAN’T Buy What They Want and From Whom They Want?

  5. Tom Wark - July 25, 2018


    Laws in 36 states say consumers there may not have wine shipped to them from out-of-state wine stores, retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs and auction houses. Wholesalers support these restrictions on retailers and consumers.

  6. Jeremiah S. - July 25, 2018

    Indeed, Tom? What sources do you read? I’m not aware of a single one. Can you show me the proof?

  7. VVP (veux, veux-pas) - July 25, 2018


    Tom believes that FedEx, UPS, two market behemoths of wholesale and their WSWA are now law making organizations.


    The short sentence from Constitution prohibits those 36 states from saying this nonsense to their citizens i.e. consumers, Tom.

    …”No State shall make or enforce any (ANY) law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…”

    Where due process of law is “a fundamental, constitutional guarantee that all legal proceedings will be fair and that one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government acts to take away one’s life, liberty, or property.

    Also, a constitutional guarantee that a law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.”

    Which means a state authorities simply must follow due process procedure and will have to bring into the court every single citizen who shops for liquors in out-of-state liquor stores, in order to attempt to enforce their unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious law if one exists.

    Tom, you still did not provide the answer which you promised being passed to FedEx and UPS. Are you ignoring or they ignore?

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