Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Illegal Wine Shipments?

One topic that drives me crazy is the fact that we can order ____ (fill in the blank with ANY product you can think of, PC's, food items, pet meds, fruit, etc.) and have it shipped to our home with just a click of a mouse or a phone call. What about WINE? NO. While our laws have been loosened slightly there are still barriers to receiving wine as noted. Read this article. It focuses on Indiana, but the facts are similar here in Georgia (I wonder if there is a 'follow the money' website for GA contributions to legislators? I know that the Alcoholic Beverage Committee receives thousands from the distributors as they want to limit our choices--to THEIR products. Anyway, that's my rant of the day....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Money talks... or does it?

Remember all the fuss about the 'cult wines' like Screaming Eagle? I can't quote true dollar figures but it seems like several years ago each bottle was worth several thousand dollars (worth? the proper word is 'cost'). I honestly believe they cost over $10,000 for each bottle, so at 4 glasses, it's $2,500 per glass, or at 24.5 ounces per bottle, that's $408 per ounce. OUCH. I read about some researchers at Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology who asked people to try some wines marked with prices from $5, $10, $35, 445 and $90. Care to guess the results? Yep, the $90 wine was 'the best'. In fact, (since they were scientist types) brain scans confirmed that when these people tried the expensive wine their "pleasure" sector of their brains lit up; when they tried the cheaper wines, the pleasure readings were lower. What can we conclude from this? Their expectation (based on price) was that a higher priced wine equated to a higher quality wine. That can be the same with any 'luxury' product that can be seen as a commodity such as a car--a Yugo can get you from point A to point B just like a Rolls Royce (okay, bad choice as the Yugo may or may not run) or a Timex tells time just as well as a Rolex (i.e. they all perform the same function. What is the punchline to this study? The $90 wine was the SAME as the $10 wine; the $45 wine was the SAME as the $5 wine. Who knew??? While I'd rather drive (or ride) in that Rolls vs. the Yugo for many other factors than just the price, remember to focus on the quality of the wine, not merely the price (or the silly label--check out this blog posting from AJC writer Gil Kulers on "Critter Wines" for some fun). Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 5, 2010

BoKnowsVino, but does Sarah Palin??

I caught this reference in a random email and had to click through to this article. It seems that Sarah Palin is going to speak at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America's convention in Las Vegas. What the? How could someone who preaches 'free choice' and/or 'open markets' speak to such a "controlling" group? You can read the article to fill in the blanks a bit more, but suffice it to say that Wholesalers as a rule are NOT truly looking out for the individual wine consumer's best interests. They do NOT like direct wine shipments to consumers and spend a ton of money buying politicians (I mean 'lobbying', sorry) in order to ensure that it is not easy for you to call a vineyard and order a random case to be shipped to your home. While Georgia's laws were relaxed a few years ago, we are still highly restricted as it relates to direct shipping. Nothing against Sarah, but I rank Wholesalers up there with Nancy Pelosi (actually, just under Pelosi) and I hope she gives them a piece of her mind, you betcha and all...