Archive for the ‘Wine Legal Battles’ 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 24, 2018

Is Granholm II Coming to the Wine Industry?

In a post at the blog for the National Association of Wine Retailers I layout the importance of a case that has been appealed to the Supreme Court. Tennesee v. Byrd, if granted cert by the Court, will determine if and under what circumstances states may pass laws that discriminate against out-of-state wine retailers shipping into their state.  It’s a short read and there is a link to the petition for the Writ of Certiorari. Given the number of cases…

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….

Jul 2, 2018

Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee and Wine

With the recent retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, all eyes turn to President Trump, Kennedy’s soon-to-be-appointed replacement and the battle that will follow. But it should not be forgotten as that battle begins that it was Justice Kennedy who authored the 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision that ushered in a sea change in the direct shipment of wine. Kennedy wrote the opinion for the 5-4 majority in which the Court held, “that the laws in…