Archive for the ‘Questioning Authority’ Category

Apr 8, 2021

Time to Embrace the Elitist Character of the Wine Drinker

“Our aim is to democratize wine. The mission is to remove the elitist, stuffy image from wine and bring it to the people.” The odds are 2-1 that any new consumer-facing wine service, app, editorial venture or website will make this above claim about what it is they are attempting to accomplish. More often than not, this “mission” is driven either 1) by the fact that the wines being sold or promoted through the new service are under $30 per…

Dec 2, 2019

Private Alcohol Sales—Is It Really a Problem?

How much alcohol is being sold online from individual to individual outside licensed entities like retailers and producers? There seems to be an effort by the country’s state attorneys general to convince us that it’s at dangerously large amounts. But is it? Attorneys general from 46 states are so concerned about “illegitimate” alcohol sales on Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon that they put pen to paper and issued letters in October to these commercial platforms. In the letter, the attorneys general…

Sep 23, 2019

An Alcohol Bureaucracy’s Rush To Judgement

There is no getting around the fact that alcohol regulation requires bureaucracy. All state and federal regulatory efforts don’t function without a bureaucratic element. Moreover, such bureaucracies are often very slow-moving, opaque, and too often unresponsive to critics and concerns of how they operate. However, in the case of the California Alcohol Beverage Commission, you have a bureaucratic agency moving so fast and in such an inconsiderate way with the implementation of a new alcohol server program that has the…

Sep 12, 2014

Suggestions for the Drunken Alcohol Researchers

The Washington Times published an article outlining the commitment at the National Institute of Health to researching alcohol-related issues. My favorite alcohol-related study funded by the NIA is one in which Yale University and Arizona State University were given $154,688 to determine if drinking excess amounts of alcohol leads to losing more money while gambling. Heck, I could have confirmed the answer to this question was “yes”, and would have only charged them $100,000. But what’s clear from reading the…

Sep 26, 2013

The Influence and Value of Wine Recommendations: A Response

“Critics Play Minor Role in Wine Choices”. This is the conclusion drawn from a presentation based on a consumer survey that John Gillespie gave at the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa on Tuesday. This study is bound to cause considerable discussion and generate significant interest since it seems to dispel the idea that wine critics are important, as well as confirm what many have said about peer-to-peer wine recommendations in the era of social media: That they are…