Archive for the ‘Wine Legal Battles’ Category

Nov 19, 2020

“Catastrophic” — The State of Restaurant Wine Sales

In a press release that outlined the state of depletions (sales from wholesalers to restaurants/retailers) over the past 12 months ending in September, SipSource analyst Dale Stratton described on-premise (restaurant/bar) alcohol sales this way: “The situation in the on-premise is nothing short of catastrophic and continues to get worse every day.” It’s possible that Stratton was understating the situations for restaurants and bars. This is particularly the case as many states engage in a second round of shutdowns of restaurants…

Oct 18, 2020

Fundamental Reform of Alcohol Laws Is Coming —Are You Ready?

It is worth noting that the pandemic-induced re-invigoration of discussion concerning alcohol regulation is a phenomenon we don’t see happening in any other industry. Whether the topic is interstate alcohol shipping, producer self-distribution or restaurant sales of drinks for takeout, this kind of increased consideration of industry reform is of a type that few if any other industries besides alcohol are having. The only plausible explanation for alcohol’s unique response to the pandemic is the fact that so much of…

Oct 11, 2020

Wine Wholesalers and Lawmakers Are Playing Chicken With Amazon

I watched a committee hearing last week that heard testimony concerning the proposal in New Jersey to lift the production cap that currently prohibits large, out-of-state wineries from shipping wine to New Jersey consumers. It isn’t likely to pass this year, but it eventually will. In the course of the hearing, various folks giving testimony assured members of the committee that, “no!”, this bill would not allow out-of-state retailers to ship wine into New Jersey. That soothed the concerns of…

Sep 28, 2020

Alcohol’s Three-Tier System Is Losing Its Power to Impress Judges

It was really an unusual takedown of an attorney by a judge. It was something you don’t see (or hear) very often. And it indicates what may be a significant change in the way the “three-tier” system is understood by members of the judicial branch. The incident I want to draw readers’ attention to occurred during oral arguments at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals last Thursday in the case of Sarasota Wine v Schmidt. This case challenges Missouri’s law…

Aug 18, 2020

Distillers…It’s Time To Go Big…It’s Time for Systemic Change

In one way or another, nearly every sector of the alcohol biz has requested some level of government aid in their effort to survive the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. In nearly every instance the specific aid request seems to shoot too low, particularly given the opportunity that this moment presents. A good example is the current effort by craft distillers and their various national and state trade associations to convince Congress to make permanent the federal excise…