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Lettie Teague on Optimism, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Writing and the implications of Print Journalist Hair

Date: Tue, May 25, 2010

Lettie Teague ranks not only as one of America's most important wine writers, but as one of its most talented. And it's important to recognize that one does not always imply the other. After spending many years as the Wine...

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Should Everyone Really Be a Wine Critic?

Date: Wed, May 19, 2010

Why should you, the reader, give any credence to what I write on this blog? Why indulge in my version of reality by giving my words the time of day? I'm not a professional writer? I don't get paid to...

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Why Play By The (wine shipping) Rules?

Date: Mon, May 17, 2010

I was contacted recently by the owner of one of the most accomplished and successful Direct-to-Consumer wineries; a winery that has been able to secure the vast amount of their annual revenue from direct to consumer marketing and shipping. They...

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Napa Valley Dodges the Dreaded Wedding Bullet

Date: Thu, May 13, 2010

Napa Valley dodged a bullet this week. Were it not for the brave representatives of the people on the Board of Supervisors who resisted the call to allow dirty commercialism to infest this bucolic agricultural paradise, it's quite likely the...

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The American Wine Consumer Union

Date: Wed, May 12, 2010

Over the course of the past month or so I've been involved in helping generate opposition to H.R 5034, a bill promoted by alcohol wholesalers that paves the way for states to pass discriminatory legislation that would harm wineries, retailers...

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A Frontal Assualt on Granholm v. Heald

Date: Tue, May 11, 2010

In 2010, when the efficient and robust interstate movement of goods has become so central to the economy of the United States and to the profitability of nearly every industry, should states be given constitutional protection for laws that intend...

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Money, Campaigns and The Effort to Pass H.R. 5034

Date: Thu, May 6, 2010

The saying goes, "You dance with the one that brung ya." Applied to politics, this generally means an elected official supports the causes of those that supported him. These days, "support" means campaign contributions. But I'm not convinced that the...

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New Website Dedicated to Stopping H.R. 5034

Date: Wed, May 5, 2010

The movement to oppose H.R. 5034 has another tool in its shed:HTTP://WWW.STOPHR5034.ORG The new website is dedicated to educating those who oppose this wholesaler-created bill that will severely endanger direct shipping rights for retailers, wineries and consumers as well as...

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Sonoma Vintners to Wineries: Promote Sonoma County or Become a Criminal!

Date: Wed, May 5, 2010

If putting the words "Sonoma County" on a wine label would help their wine sell faster or for higher prices, don't you think wineries would have already done so? I do. In fact, I know they would. But clearly many...

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Must We All be "Something-holics"?

Date: Tue, May 4, 2010

The goal all along was to simply get cigarettes out of my life. I'd tried this before. Many times. The last time I tried it was on October 25th, 2009. A couple things were different this time around. In addition...

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Happy (wine) Days Are Here Again?

Date: Mon, May 3, 2010

Silicon Valley Bank, (SVB) one of the leading lenders to the wine industry, has released its "State of the Industry" report and is estimating that fine wine sales will increase this year by 8% to 12 percent. However, they warn...

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Wine Marketing Rule #4--BUILD YOUR MAILING LIST

Date: Mon, May 3, 2010

Recently in Washington State at TASTE Washington I gave a talk on ""THE TEN THINGS EVERY SMALL WINERY MUST KNOW TO MARKET IN TODAY'S WINE MARKETING UNIVERSE." That talk was summarized in an earlier blog post here at FERMENTATION. This...

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H.R. 5034: Its History and Meaning Explained

Date: Thu, Apr 29, 2010

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND For decades the state-mandated 3-tier system of alcohol distribution worked. This is the system of sale and distribution of alcohol that nearly every state mandated at the end of Prohibition. It ordered that only licensed in-state wholesalers...

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7 Questions To Ask Wholesalers About H.R. 5034 at Hearings

Date: Wed, Apr 28, 2010

In a teleconference today with Journalists and industry types, Representative Mike Thompson (D)-CA made clear his absolute opposition to H.R. 5034 and the efforts he is making to defeat it. There is no question that Representative Thompson is the champion...

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