Archive for the ‘Wine Legal Battles’ Category

Dec 3, 2019

The Top Wine Stories of 2019

The wine industry in America is a trailing indicator of the culture and economy. It always has been. The top stories in wine in 2019 reflect this truism. Politics, powerful social movements, the economy, evolving modes of consumerism and natural disasters all came together to give us the industry’s biggest stories in 2019. These are those stories. Supreme Court Pushes Back on Protectionism Fourteen years ago the U.S. Supreme Court rendered an opinion in Granholm v Heald that created the…

Oct 29, 2019

An Oregon Wine Rebellion Reflects a Maturing Industry

Something strange happened on the way to passing wine legislation in Oregon…a rebellion broke out. Announced five days ago was the formation of a new Oregon wine trade association: The Oregon Wine Council (OWC) According to the Council’s press release: “The Oregon Wine Council (OWC) has formed with a board of directors and members representing the wine industry statewide. Forming from the coalition who defended the wine industry from anti-competitive wine legislation during the 2019 Oregon Legislature, the OWC represents…

Oct 22, 2019

The Future of Market Access for Brewers and Distillers —and Wineries Too

There is an unusual collaboration and coherence among America’s alcohol beverage producers at this moment when it comes to politics. Just about everyone, from distillers to brewers to wineries—of every size—are lobbying federal lawmakers seeking an extension or permanent status to the current federal alcohol excise tax. It’s about the money, as it usually is. I don’t have a strong opinion on the propriety of making permanent the lower federal alcohol excise tax rate arrived at two years ago. However,…

Sep 27, 2019

Pettiness and Virtue in Donald Trump’s Land of Liquor

I’m not a fan of President Donald Trump. It’s concerning to me that he is the first president in my lifetime that I’m positive I could do a better job of running the country. But I’m also not a fan of petty wastefulness. And that is exactly what the attempt to revoke the liquor license at the President’s Washington, DC hotel amounts to. The claim was that President Trump’s liquor license at the Trump Washington, DC Hotel should be revoked…

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…