Not all of CA wine country is ablaze. Yes, the impacts are horrifically devastating to many, and the situation is extremely fluid and, buy the time this publishes, undoubtedly will have changed again (hopefully, for the better).
Most importantly (in my view), as a wine lover, you should continue to drink and buy wines from the impacted areas (primarily Sonoma County). Not just now, but long after the smoke from these horrendous fires has cleared (and before you ask… harvest is almost totally completed in the impacted areas, so there’s little chance of smoke taint from the current fires making its way into anything that will be bottled with a 2019 vintage on the label). That might be the best way to ensure a speedy recovery for the wine brands that get hit the hardest by the current blazes.
Every year or so, I receive an unsolicited email blast from wine auction services that makes me want to Hulk rage. The 2019 incarnation of this comes my way from online auction house WineBid, is titled “16 Years of Burgundy vs. The Stock Market – and WineBid Auction Results,” and which I will only link to with the anchor text Probably Total Horseshit so as not to give them quite exactly the kind of organic social mention that they had in mind when they sent it.
In that WineBid article, which you probably shouldn’t bother reading, they make the claim that a report published by The Economist (using WineBid data) shows that “fine red Burgundy wine is a better investment by far than the stock market.”
Sorry, but that’s a steaming pile of horse crap of the tallest order.
Yes, they include cool-looking, impressive charts and lots of flowery language insinuating that if you love fine red wine then you’re an idiot for not considering it the world’s most impressive investment vehicle, so there’s that. But the problem is, well, that there are lots of problems with comparing the apples of proper investing to the oranges of owning fine wine, not to mention the issues with the report itself…
“Aficionados of “fine wine” may find …affordable, high-volume, big-brand bottlings too bold, too sweet, too simple, or not varietally representative. The wines aren’t made for those people. They’re made for specific, but very large. audiences, are made with intention, and made after considerable research and development by highly-trained people.”
My response today, on the other hand, will be neither level-headed nor even-handed, though hopefully it will be cogent enough for the detractors of industrial-scale wine to understand that they are acting like morons when they lash out against high-volume, low-cost wines as having no place in a modern wine market. The truth is that those high-volume, low-cost wines make up the majority of the fine wine market, and without them the high-end market would likely be in severe economic dire straights…
I’d fully intended to provide some peripatetic and yet somehow also sublimely insightful wine review action for you this week (and I’ve much to tell you about my recent jaunt to Israeli wine country, too). But nature has intervened, once again declaring herself the boss, and me her beeeatch, by providing me with a cold/fever combination, and a broken toe.
Anyway, I’m going to actually listen to that harsh task mistress and get up off of my feet for once and just rest and heal. Which means I’ll be delayed in getting things written up here. In the meantime, however, I’d encourage you to check out Wholesale Protection 2018: A Report on Alcohol Wholesaler Campaign Contributions, a new report by the National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR), whose Executive Director is my friend Tom Wark. According to the press release, the report “examines the amount of money America’s alcohol middlemen give to state political campaigns, to whom they give it and the differences on a state-by-state level.”
Which basically means that you can see which of your state’s politicians actually kinda-sorta works more for the Booze Wholesaler Man, political-swamp-style, then they actually do for you. Two quick takeaways from my perusal:
1. The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America has some cash, baby, and they are not afraid to use it.
2. Repubs have the edge in accepting the coin when it comes to these donations, as do incumbents; in the case of the latter, it’s a a whopping 76%, strongly suggesting that the focus is keep the status quo…
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