Monday, October 28, 2013

The A.C.A. is Socialism!

I don’t know about you, but I am outraged. The A.C.A is an ill-conceived disaster. The time to stop it is NOW, before it’s fully implemented. It’s not too late. I know, I know, it feels like the battle has been lost, but we mustn’t lose hope, we mustn’t abandon our ideals, our very way of life. We have to fight it with every ounce of our being, make sure that our children, our grandchildren, won’t have to carry the burden of this terrible travesty of the business we hold so dear.

I’m speaking of, if I can get the dreaded words unstuck from my craw, the Affordable Cab Act. It will destroy the wine business if we don’t stop it NOW.

I will concede that the prices for Cabernet Sauvignon are insane. The system is definitely broken, I’ll give them that. Wineries with no track record charging $150 for a first release of Napa Valley Cabernet? Who buys those wines? The same people who hire Dennis Rodman for a makeover? The people who hire Anthony Wiener as their Social Media Consultant? People who religiously follow James Suckling? Those morons?

Cabernet Sauvignon prices are like Mel Gibson’s cars—driven by ego. Every overhyped, expensively packaged, new “cult” wine says the same thing in its marketing materials. “We tasted our first release of Mammon Worship Cabernet blind, alongside Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle, Scarecrow, and all five First Growths, and our wine finished first! And, at $200/bottle, it was the cheapest wine in the tasting!” Who dreams up this crap? How stupid do they think people are? Wow, you mean the wine you made to your own taste, the one you taste every day, actually won your “blind” tasting? Remarkable! Here’s an idea! Try Mammon Worship blind alongside a bunch of wines that cost $40. You’ll still win, and you can charge $50! That makes more sense, doesn’t it?

Bordeaux is no better. Speculation drives the prices up on the best Cabernet-based wines in the region. Bordeaux is no longer a wine, it’s a commodity. Like gold, or corn, or African orphans in Hollywood. The rich have most of it cornered, and, for them, money is no object any more than good taste is.

The Affordable Cabernet crisis was avoidable. If people would just use the brains God gave them, many of them factory seconds, to be sure, but brains nonetheless.  The Cabernet crisis is a conspiracy, people! It exists because Americans are ignorant and believe the mainstream wine media! When they are blatantly and unashamedly lying.

Just look at the recent Wine Spectator issue on California Cabernet Sauvignon, reported mostly by Establishment lackey James Laube. In the issue, Laube rates the 2010 vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon in California a ridiculous 98 points! 98 Points! And why? Because the weather was nice. That’s how you rate your fucking vacation, not wine. Laube rates the vintage 98 points, but the highest scoring wine in the report received 97 points. How does that work? The vintage was better than the wines? Apparently. And why did the vintage only get 98 points? What knocked it down from 100? Laube was pissed off when it rained on his birthday? It was overcast for the Vintage Auto Show? It was too hot at the Napa Valley Auction to wear their fur coats?

If the folks who could afford the best Cabernets just kept their wits about them, stopped believing the Establishment media when it hands out meaningless numbers, and refused to pay more than $50 for a great bottle of Cabernet, there wouldn’t have to be the Affordable Cab Act. Soon, if we allow this insidious law to be instituted, our great Cabernets will be in the hands of poor people, illegal immigrants, the unemployed, or, worse, Millennials!

In principle, the Affordable Cab Act is simple. You can understand why folks would vote for it. It guarantees affordable Cabernet Sauvignon for everyone. Not just the rich, who can afford it. Not just sommeliers, who claim to be busy, so could you just drop a bottle off and I’ll taste it when I have time? (In wine country, everyone knows Spring is flea, tick and sommelier season.) No, great Cabernet would be available to everyone. Sounds good, right?

But look more closely at the facts. It’s socialism. Wake up! Our great democracy is in serious danger. The Affordable Cab Act punishes the talented and hardworking people who buy the great wines of Napa Valley and Bordeaux—bankers, hedge fund managers, people with billions of dollars in offshore investments. That isn’t fair. Democracy isn’t about helping the little people. Where does it say that in the Constitution? Democracy is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, if you’re poor, if you’re middle class, hey, you get one of those, and be grateful you get that. You get life. Happiness and liberty? Don’t be such a sap.

The Affordable Cab Act would create a pool of money. Every time one of our finest citizens bought a case of Margaux, or a six-pack of Screaming Eagle, or just a bottle of Lafite, the money would go into that giant pool. The winery, or the broker, or the auction house, would get a percentage of the money for their wine. The rest of the money would be doled out to less successful wine lovers in the form of credits, which they could use, in turn, to purchase Cabernets they can no longer afford. It would all be based on your income, and your ability to appreciate wine.

Yes, it sounds good, and only good would come out of enacting the A.C.A., but don’t let that fool you. It’s a simple fact, but, like health, great wine is meant to be appreciated by the people who earned it, not to be shared with those less fortunate. As Senator Ted Cruz so eloquently put it, “I got mine. Fuck y’all.” Or was that Bill Koch?


wine man boy said...

I love you man. There Eye said it.

Quizicat said...

The ho is greater than some of its parts. At least that's what she said.
I also heard that Parker isn't going to stand for this and now has a 110 point scale. The new 10 points for how important the wine make you feel.

Marcia Macomber said...

You've got my vote. But why stop at Cabernet? Sure, they're the priciest wines around in these parts. But let's not discriminate, we could have an Affordable Crap Act too. We shouldn't leave the plonk out of the myriad choices the wine-buying public has. If they want to buy crap wine, it should be affordable too.

Vine Language said...

Your timely and chewy wit is an easy pilsner to swallow! Looking forward to the next dose.

voice of reason said...

when are you writing (or have you written) a book with these gems?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Gang, Whoever is Out There Reading This Nonsense,
Ideas arrive in many different ways. One of the fun things about regularly writing satire again is how my mind now comes up with ideas spontaneously, without my conscious mind searching for them. In the middle of the night last week, I couldn't sleep. Into my head, unsummoned and out of nowhere, appeared the thought, "Affordable Cab Act." And this piece was born.

Does it seem quiet around here? To paraphrase Yogi, My blog is so popular, nobody reads it anymore.

Unknown said...

this is dangerous.

If regular people start drinking expensive wine, it's only a matter of time before they realize it's no better than a $30 bottle, and the whole system goes up in flames

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Spoken like a Senator from Texas.

And the reason to buy really expensive Cabernet is status, not because it's better. Wine is, at this level, a luxury item, and labels have great power and symbolism, as they do in fashion, expensive cars and trophy wives. said...

Great post! Shared!!

Charlie Olken said...

Is it true that under the ACA, I can keep my favorite cheap Cab winery or will I have to sign up for a new winery whose Cab has enough oak to qualify for a subsidy?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,
Good question. I'm not sure. I can't get on their website. But I think the subsidies depend on how many underage drinkers sign up.

renzo said...

"Does it seem quiet around here? To paraphrase Yogi, My blog is so popular, nobody reads it anymore".

To offset the seeming quietude... permit me a squeak to simply say I'm reading and always awaiting the next installment. The problem with your talent is that you pretty much say it all. Aside from having your fans tell you how much we love what you do (Or in Samantha's case-- how much she literally loves and wants to do you), what else can we do.
Maybe your can get all interactive with it and post questionnaires or surveys. Perhaps ask readers to share their wine "journeys" or ruminations on being amateur "smellers". Akin to the Galloni/Robinson musings. I'm trying to help with your branding effort-- how'm I doin' ? (in Ed Koch-ease).

Ron Washam, HMW said...

I'm just insecure. It's a writer's occupational hazard. And to write jokes but never hear the laughter is very disconcerting, though you'd think I'd be used to it by now.

And let's not even mention how unseemly it is to beg for common taters.

Many thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

Gary & Alison Dyer said...

Put your ear a little close to the screen---HAHAHAHAHAHHA!! Hope you could hear it.

I am still chuckling even when I rad it at an early AM hour when I couldn't sleep. Love it!