Archive for the ‘Culture and Wine’ Category

Nov 8, 2020

Election Day Is Turning Into A Drinking Holiday

Perhaps because Americans were pre-occupied with getting in their last digs at the enemies with slurs of “Fascist!” and “Communist!”, we didn’t hear this last election a refrain we normally hear from thoughtful citizens on Election Day: “Why is it held on a Tuesday and not a weekend?” This is a good question. You’d have a higher turn out and more orderly precinct voting. I’ve always agreed that Election Day should be on the weekend. But the real argument I’ve…

Oct 27, 2020

The Question of Cancel Culture and “Feminine” Wine

Gendered words such as “feminine” and “masculine” have come under some pretty severe criticism as wine descriptors in recent years. In nearly every example of a commentator discussing such terms, the conclusion has been that they are, in today’s world, inappropriate for describing wine. These condemnations—and they have been condemnations—are misplaced, rely on a misunderstanding of the utility of gendered wine descriptions, confuse gender expression for gender identity and, when they lead us to jettison the words from our wine…

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:…