Archive for the ‘Culture and Wine’ Category

Sep 22, 2020

Hey Wine Industry—Let’s Try to Dial It Back a Few Notches

Maybe you have noticed. It’s getting a little tense out there. Say what you will about the wine industry. It’s elitist! It’s systemically racist. It’s behind the curve technologically. It is regulated through archaic laws. One thing you must also say about the wine industry is that it is extraordinarily congenial. Yet this congeniality specific to wine, be it due to the nature of the product or to the folks it attracts to the industry, is being stressed and stretched,…

Sep 19, 2020

Recalling Justice Ginsburg as a Champion of the Wine Industry

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not be remembered or revered for her 21st Amendment or Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Nevertheless, it’s true that Justice Ginsburg provided reliable support for the view that the 21st Amendment to the Constitution (ending Prohibition) does not give the states unlimited power to regulate alcohol sales and distribution in their jurisdictions. Rather, Justice Ginsburg embraced an interpretation of the Constitution that has led to a radical re-imagining of the role of state regulation of alcohol. In…

Aug 12, 2020

The Problem of Wine’s Diminishing “Aspiration Gap”

Wine selling venues shuttered due to COVID. Neo-Prohibitionism on the rise. A continuing invasion of new and high-quality imports. Dietary guidelines recommending 1 drink a day instead of 2 for men. Tariffs on EU Wines. New and different drinks like cider and hard seltzer competing for palates. It’s not as though wine doesn’t face enough headwinds. So, of course, I’m here to note one more breeze that wine faces—and has faced for some time, despite it not being discussed much:…

Aug 4, 2020

The Top Ten Important Wine Questions

There are a variety of interesting and even significant questions staring the wine industry in the face right this minutes. They are the kind of questions that have answers that will significantly impact the wine industry and they are the kind of questions I like to ponder and often write about. These are ten of those questions and they are questions I don’t have answers to and in some cases, don’t even know how to evaluate. Do you? ONE Fifteen…

Jul 15, 2020

In Praise of Wine Snobs and Classists

And now let us praise the wealthy, wealthy-adjacent, privileged, conspicuously consuming wine consumers who, with their showy and snooty displays and consumption of expensive, rare, hard-to-find, wines from Old World and New World wine regions with particular emphasis on wines of high ratings, have created the modern wine industry and made way for the diversity of wine now seen across America. Hazzah! Now imagine a world in which California wines named “Burgundy, Barbaresco, and White Chablis” all made from some…