Monday, June 24, 2013

Consumers Of Wine Seeking Honesty In Trade--Join Today!

Tom Wark, and his Warkaholics, recently banded together to form the American Wine Consumer Coalition. I think this is a great idea, though I can hardly wait for the National Wine Consumer Coalition to start  so the two can play a Best of Seven World Series of Wine Consumer Coalitions. Don’t bet against the Washington Senators. Surprisingly, I wasn’t consulted during the formation of the AWCC. I certainly would have come up with a better acronym. Consumers Of Wine Seeking Honesty In Trade, that would work.

Yet it’s about time that someone stood up for the rights of wine consumers because, God knows, we’re done standing up for the rights of migrant workers, women and the mentally ill, all of whom make the wine business what it is. It’s the ordinary everyday wine consumer who needs looking after, who deserves to be able to buy what he wants, when he wants, however he wants, on whatever day he wants, whether he’s wearing underpants or not. (There are guerrilla tactics, but I recommend commando tactics.) We need a Voice for the American Wine Consumer, and who better than Tom Wark to be the ventriloquist to those dummies?

I haven’t joined the AWCC yet (again, sucky acronym—how about something perky like Drinkers Of Wine Need Equal Rights?). I’m waiting to see if there’s a discount if I buy twelve memberships, or if I join the Coalition of the Month Club. (The August selection of the Coalition of the Month Club is membership in the Stop Calling Every Fucking Wine “Food Wine” Coalition—a really worthy cause. Though, again, acronyms, people, acronyms!) I plan to join soon, but I’m waiting to see if they actually address the needs of American Wine Consumers.

To begin with, how about getting rid of the countless ridiculous laws regarding the sale of alcohol? Here are a few for starters:

In Alabama, it’s illegal to sell wine at a hanging.

In Pennsylvania, you can only buy wine at state-run stores where the wines are selected by rhesus monkeys formerly used as lab animals. Though, oddly, their scores are remarkably similar to Wine & Spirits.

In Tennessee, you can only buy wine in a county where the Supervisors sign their names with an “X.”

In Massachusetts, you can’t buy wine on Carl Yastrzemski’s birthday.

In Florida, you can’t buy wine if you use a walker. Unless it has cutout tennis balls on its feet, then you can buy wine during Wimbledon.

In Texas, you can drink and drive, but only if the wine scored 90+. Wilfred Wong is a State Treasure.

When these, and many other, laws were enacted, consumers were left out of the legislative process. They didn’t have a seat at the table. Hell, there wasn’t even a sommelier available at the table. And the house wine sucked. It’s time for that to change, and I believe the AWCC can be a force for good. (Again, such a worthless acronym. What’s wrong with Brotherhood of Lovers Of Wine for Justice Over Big Business? That’s a mouthful.) Here’s what I hope the AWCC will set out to accomplish:

  •     Lobby in the states and at the federal level for the rights of wine consumers, hopefully at a nice Morton’s with a big T-Bone and a bottle of Priorat.
  •      Educate wine regulators about the real interests of wine consumers, mainly drinking to forget and the relaxing of drunk driving laws. (MADD—now there’s an awesome acronym!)
  •      Inform the media of the interests of wine consumers—including the latest upskirt of Rihanna and Justin Bieber’s hairy monkey.
  •      Produce wine-related events for members just because there isn’t any goddam point to joining a wine coalition unless they have wine tastings where you can meet other wine consumers interested in promoting the wine rights of wine consumers while drinking Moscato Jell-O shots from naked Chinese contortionists.
  •      Educate members and nonmembers alike on the politics behind wine, by which we mean the Three-Tier System, the influence of big distributor money, and the anti-alcohol lobby and NOT the politics of misleading winery marketing.
  •      Support other organizations willing to advance the rights of wine consumers, like Larry’s Auto Body and the Organ Donation Association.
  •      Support members’ interest in wine with valuable benefits. We’ll think of something. How about free rides on the Sterling tram? Buy a copy of Wine Enthusiast, get another for 5¢--a 10¢ value! The outtake reel from “Somm”—amazing spit takes. OK, don’t worry, you’ll get your damn money’s worth.
  •     Give members discounts on real wine-related services, media and products. Like free blog subscriptions and great discounts on 2008 Mendocino Pinot Noir!
Tom Wark has worked long and hard on this, and he has the credentials and knowledge to make it worthwhile. All HoseMaster foolishness aside, consider joining. It’s worth the money, and it may just work. Here’s where to sign up:

Tell ‘em the HoseMaster of Wine™ sent you. See what that gets you.



Jeff Lorton said...

Here in Oregon, we are very progressive and love coalitions, collectives and committees. We would love to join our State Coalition of Enology Workers with your group Consumers Of Wine Seeking Honesty In Trade to form a joint industry/public task force. We await your affirmative reply.

Clinton Stark said...

"In Alabama, it’s illegal to sell wine at a hanging."

Precisely why I prefer the Livestream.

Quizicat said...

I prefer DAMM (Drunks Against Mad Mothers)
Also Greatful Users of Zinfandel Zweigelt Lemberger Enantio and Roussanne Society. Its a real niche group.

Steve Lay said...

Well, I hope you are proud of yourself now, you have started something that will live on in infamy. The world can't drink enough wine to bail CA out however.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Oregon join with California? Yeah, that would work. Sort of like peace talks with the Taliban.

Nice. You made me laugh. Bravo.

Enantio? Man, that's reaching. What's wrong with Erbaluce? Don't answer that.

Ah, yes, everyone knows that C.O.W.S.H.I.T. will change the world. One pile at a time. As for California, we have a surplus now, my friend, which we will waste on schools instead of spending it on cigarettes like smart people would.

Unknown said...

Yes now that America is free of cancer we can devote time to the real issues of our day like the rights of wine drinkers. It is about time.

After all isn't this what Rosa Parks fought for- the right to get drunk on a bus(I must admit I didn't pay much attention in social studies class)?

My only issue with this great organization is that the name doesn't have the word citizen, patriot or the phrase "for a brighter tomorrow" in it. Maybe they just wanted to avoid IRS scrutiny...

Marcia Macomber said...

I'm sure Tom is kicking himself for not thinking of C.O.W.S.H.I.T. first.

I see another post devoted to the humorous state regulations. They write themselves into waves of laughter, no? I'm sure somewhere is a no-sales-on-Sunday-except-if-your-hair-is-a-certain-color-and-you-have-six-toes regulation.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

It's hard to think of a more important cause than shipping. Well, there's Liposuction for Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs, but it gets tough after that.

I do think Tom and Co. fell short in the name department. AWCC? I thought it was Sarah Palin's alma mater, Alaska Wilderness City College.

Marcia Love,
Oh, I could have written a hundred comedy alcohol laws, but it's hard to top the ones that already exist. And I doubt Tom is kicking himself for not coming up with COWSHIT. Though, to be sure, "I'm a lobbyist for COWSHIT" has a certain ring to it.

Pecos said...

Discounts on 2008 Mendocino Pinots, heh.

Samantha Dugan said...

I wanna play. What about Consumer Unity National Treasury of Wine Appreciation and Delivery Services. Wait, maybe I'm not playing right...

Tom said...

Sam, Ron, everyone...

You all can play. However, you really do need to join first. $35. The cost of a good bottle of wine.

I appreciate Ron's humor and probably couldn't live without it. Although I've been forced to, what, maybe 5 or six times now?

We appreciate all the publicity we can get, Ron. So...Thanks. But really, a link and a join up would be especially appreciated.

Tom said...

Wait a minute. I missed your link at the bottom and your kind words.


(You may return now to your regularly scheduled satire and skewering!)

Samantha Dugan said...

And if you look on my store's facebook page you will see a link there simmer down now!

The Sommeliere said...

Damn, I was so looking forward to drinking wine in Alabama at a hanging!
If they sell booze at a hanging, maybe I can go back to drinking moonshine.

voice of reason said...

Ron, I think that somewhere there is an additive-inverse ratio that proves "the younger you can get married in a state, the harder it is to ship wine there". Your thoughts?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I wanted to give a boost to your new organization in the only way I know how, by using it as a platform for satire. It may not be the most important cause on the planet, but we all toil foolishly and far too devotedly in this playground we call wine, so we may as well take it seriously. Your goals at AWCC (acronyms, man, acronyms) will help everyone in the wine business, I think. The wine laws in the US are just plain stupid. Necessary to their time, but their time has long since passed.

My Gorgeous Samantha,
You're a talented woman, but not so much in the acronym department. But your heart, or some other portion of your anatomy, was in the right place.

Marlene Darling,
It's simply tasteless to attend a hanging and ask for the wine list. Though it's appropriate when facing a Feiring Squad.

I think you're close, and on the right track, David, but I think that the rule is, the younger your cousin you marry is allowed to be, the harder it is to ship wine. Though banjos are perfectly legal, which makes no sense.

Samantha Dugan said...

Ron My Love,
You're right Honey, I will just stick to my god given talent, making fashionable jewelery out of used gum wrappers. Still love me though?

Unknown said...

my favorite acronym has always been TLA, which of course stands for Three Letter Acronym

Charlie Olken said...

As Groucho Marx may have said, I would never join an organization that would have me as a member.

I sent Mr. Wark my membership dues for Connoisseurs' Guide and he rejected it. So, now I feel better.

Of course, I had to promise to give every new signup to AWCC a free year of CGCW, so now I am happy to be a member of the AWCC since they take bribes.

Do, please, all sign up. We can have a change the name contest the Hosemaster cast as judges.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

My Gorgeous Samantha,
I love my bracelet, but I thought those were condom wrappers. Hell, no wonder that stuff blew lousy bubbles.


I do hope that everyone who reads my crapola here decides to join the American Wark and Charlie Coalition (AWCC). Really, people, especially those of you in nonreciprocal shipping states, put up or shut up.

And, if you need further motivation, a year's subscription to Connoisseurs' Guide is unbelievably generous. Connoisseurs' Guide is THE authority on California wine. I've been a subscriber for longer than I can remember, and when Charlie and Stephen give a wine 3 Stars, you certainly want to find a way to taste it and own it. And 2 Stars from them is damned high praise too. It might be the one publication (and maybe California Grapevine) that I would suggest has not undergone grade inflation over the past ten years. Reliable and thorough with unquestionable integrity. For $35 membership? That's the best wine deal in a long time.

Charlie Olken said...

Ron--Thanks for your support of AWCC. Its time is long overdue. And so is mine, but I keep plugging along anyhow secure in the knowledge that I am the world's oldest wine journalist.

It pains me that I cannot buy wine in grocery stores in New York. Of course, if I lived there it would pain me a lot more, but let's not quibble.

And Pennsylvania? I like to think of it as the Mississippi of wine regulations.

I am lucky enough to have been in the wine writing biz for a long time. We have gone from a country that drank more dessert wine when I started collecting to a table wine country, and we have seen quality grow to world-class status.

We have great wine in the US, but we have wine sales laws that are as out of date as French appellation laws.

Repeal happened at a time very different from today. If the Supremes, even by 5-4, can figure out that Gay Marriage will not destroy the Republic, then it is time for them and the rest of the world to figure out that rational wine laws that protect consumer rights, not Distributor Rights or State Employee Rights or MADD Rights also is an notion whose time has surely come.

I am proud to take my stand on the side of the angels and hope that the CGCW offer of a one year subscription will encourage lots of people to give the American Wine Consumer Coalition a try.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Not sure my support is worth anything, but I'm happy to help. It's about time people in Pennsylvania are allowed to have gay people shipped directly to them.

OK, I may be confused.

Unknown said...

Definitely love me some 2008 Mendocino Pinot, it goes great with nicotine patches to help me beat my craving for smoke.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey John,
How's things? Man, I think I'm still high from those 2008 Mendocino fires. The wind blew a lot of the smoke towards Healdsburg. For two weeks, you couldn't find Doritos to save your life. The upside? My blog seemed funnier.