Archive for the ‘Three Tier System’ Category

Aug 24, 2018

Crime and Punishment in the Wine Industry

In its fierce “determination to put an end to anti-competitive practices that hurt law-abiding businesses and prevent consumers from enjoying a wide selection of products” the TTB announced that it had levied punishment upon Napa Valley’s Modus Operandi Cellars. The crime? “Consignment sales of wine to wholesalers who were not obligated to pay for the wine until after it had been sold to retailers.” The Punishment: “A one day (emphasis added) suspension of its basic permit.” I’m not suggesting that Modus…

Jul 20, 2018

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…

Jul 9, 2018

Turning the Tide on Corruption in Wine, Beer and Spirit Sales

An amazing thing happened recently in, of all places, Texas. Both the Texas Democratic Party and the Texas Republican Party, at their annual state platform conventions, called for the elimination or complete reform of the Three Tier System of Alcohol distribution in Texas in their individual party platforms. Credit for this rather remarkable political (and popular) victory goes to CraftPac, the political action committee of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, whose members have been denied direct access to the consumer market….

Jun 15, 2018

Wine Retailers Are Out Numbered At The Table

Every state in America has some sort of Commission, Agency, Department or Board that oversees the state’s alcohol production, distribution and sales. What’s notable about this is that alcohol is the most highly regulated industry in America. As a result, the commissioners, agents, department heads and board members almost never garner an “attaboy” from either those they regulate or those that watch them regulate. The primary problem these regulators face is they are tasked with overseeing what is in most…

May 30, 2018

The Slow Adoption of Technology in Wine is Political

A great amount of words have been composed trying to explain why the wine industry has a seeming aversion to implementing new digital technologies. Notables of great talent and energy have worked and are working to cajole the wine trade into embracing the digital tools available for better meeting consumer wine demand as well as matching consumer desires to products. Yet, the single greatest deterrent to the wine industry becoming a full-fledged adopter of new economy tools isn’t a luddite’s aversion…

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