Archive for the ‘Three Tier System’ Category

Jan 11, 2019

The Curmudgeon and the Three Tier System

Few wine writers live up to their moniker better than Jeff Siegel, who has long called himself “The Wine Curmudgeon”. In addition to sussing out the best and worst value wines, Jeff also regularly comments on the business of wine. In his latest article, 2019 Wine Trends, Siegel paints a disturbing picture of wine in the U.S. However, he also speaks to the upcoming Supreme Court case, Blair v Tennessee and warns that we shouldn’t expect the high court to…

Dec 31, 2018

Wine and the Courts: Key 2018 Wine Trend #3

Among the more notable things about this third of three Key Wine Trends For 2018 that I’ve identified is that, unlike the first two, it does not track with broader cultural themes we witnessed this year. The issues of Gender & Wine and Cannabis & Wine are both downstream impacts of important movements within the American culture. The issue of The Courts and Wine is, instead, a description of a movement indicative of the unique classification of alcohol in American…

Oct 23, 2018

Lies, Damned Lies and Wine Wholesalers

“I am always surprised when individual wholesalers or their main trade and lobbying group, the Washington DC-based Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America [WSWA,] fails to chime in on key issues.” Liza Zimmerman, correspondent for Wine-Searcher I’m not. After all, when forced to respond to key issues to the wine and spirits industry, wholesalers are forced into a terrible situation: They either must tell the truth of their protectionist ideology (which never goes over well) or lie. That’s not a…

Oct 12, 2018

The Supreme Court Must Rule on Wine Retailer Shipping

Since 2005 when the U.S Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of New York and Michigan’s discriminatory and protectionist bans on wine shipments from out-of-state wineries in Granholm v Heald, a certain legal and regulatory confusion ensued. The upcoming Supreme Court case being dubbed “Granholm II” is going to resolve that confusion. The new Supreme Court Case, Byrd v. Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, will do this by clarifying exactly what is “unquestionably legitimate” when it comes to the three-tier system….

Sep 17, 2018

A Corrupt Scheme At The Middle of the American Wine Industry

In a recent interview with Liza Zimmerman at Wine Searcher, Rob Tobiassen, former Chief Attorney for the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, explains the benefits of the Three Tier System of Alcohol distribution. However, in the wide-ranging interview, Rob fails to point out one very important thing: the three-tier system of alcohol regulation is an extraordinarily archaic system of market regulation that has fallen under the control of a cabal of state-mandated and state-protected middlemen whose only interest is their…

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