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THURSDAY THORNS
06/20/2013
Thursday Thorns
It Is Time For Wine Consumers To Fight Back

By Charles Olken

For years, Connoisseurs' Guide has proudly billed itself as the "Authoritative Voice of the California wine consumer". But that voice has pretty much been limited to issues of wine quality and wine labeling. We have stood mute, along with most of the rest of the wine drinking world, as governmental and industry interests have banded together to make wine enjoyment far more difficult than it ought to be.

While much of the bad practice, from a consumer's point of view, came as the result of Repeal which ceded far too much power to the States in order to gain the necessary votes to enact Repeal, it is very obvious that we cannot lay a large portion of the anti-consumer legislation at the feet of Repeal.

We have let the powers that be tell us that we cannot buy wine across state lines or on Sundays or in certain restaurants or in grocery stores. The list of abusive legislation is a long one, and the wine consumer has not fought back because there was no mechanism to allow us to flex our voices together.

Now, that is about to change, and Connoisseurs' Guide is proud to be a part of the growing movement to fight back. Not only to we endorse it, but we are active members the operations of the newly created, American Wine Consumer Coalition.

The case for such an organization has been expertly made by Tom Wark, wine blogger, consumer activist and industry insider. His persuasive arguments are laid out below. Please read on, and when you are done, go to the AWCC site and sign up.

Herewith, Mr. Wark's extensive comments:

"Where the practice of making the laws and regulations concerning consumer access to wine is concerned, wine consumers have no voice in the process. Furthermore, this should be of no surprise since wine consumers have no advocate; no place at the table; no one speaking on their behalf. They are voiceless, and therefore powerless.

The impact of this situation are the myriad laws and regulations across the country and in state after state that completely disregard the interests of wine consumers. Bans on winery shipping to consumers. Arbitrary bans on how much wine a consumer may purchase from wineries. Complete bans on the consumer's ability to have imported wines shipped to them from out-of-state sources. The inability of consumers to purchase wine while doing their grocery shopping. Protectionist laws preventing wine consumers from shipping wine to their own family members across state lines. Bans on purchasing wine on certain days of the week. And consumers being forced to put up with government agencies controlling which wines they may purchase.

The list of anti-wine consumer laws on the books goes on and on and a key reason this situation exists is because wine consumers are not consulted when laws are made.

Today a new voice for wine consumers is founded:

THE AMERICAN WINE CONSUMER COALITION.

The AWCC is a membership based organization. Members, who pay $35 per year to join, have a stake in the Coalition's actions. It is an organization funded by wine consumers for wine consumers. The AWCC is a voice for wine consumers with wine consumers interests at its heart. Not the interests of wineries, retailers, restaurants, wholesalers nor the regulators. The AWCC is about Wine Consumers.

What will the AWCC do?

  • Lobby in the states and at the federal level for the rights of wine consumers
  • Educate wine regulators about the real interests of wine consumers
  • Inform the media of the interests of wine consumers
  • Produce wine-related events for members
  • Educate members and non-members alike on the politics behind wine
  • Support other organizations willing to advance the rights of wine consumers
  • Support members' interest in wine with valuable benefits
  • Give members discounts on real wine-related services, media and products.

Actions you can take:

  1. Join and support the American Wine Consumer Coalition
  2. Publicly give your endorsement to the AWCC
  3. Spread the word on social media about the new AWCC
  4. Join the AWCC Facebook Page
  5. Follow AWCC on Twitter"

The CGCW Experience - Take the Tour

Meet the New CGCW

For thirty-five years, Connoisseurs' Guide has been the authoritative voice of the California wine consumer. With readers in all fifty states and twenty foreign countries, the Guide is valued by wine lovers everywhere for its honesty and for it strong adherence to the principles of transparency, unbiased, hard-hitting opinions. Now, it is becoming the California winelover's most powerful online voice as well. And, our new features provide an unmatched array of advice and information for aficionados of every stripe.

Comments

Supporting the cause
by Doug Wilder
Posted on:6/21/2013 11:05:38 AM

After reading the mission statement, and seeing who is involved (several I know/respect their work), it took me all of 30 seconds to decide to support the coalition at the business level. The issue of access to wine in America is important to my subscribers, as I provide a link to wineries (and soon retailers) where they can find wines I review. Being part of a resource that encourages consumer empowerment makes perfect sense and i look forward to offering my subscribers information, and an incentive to join. Best, Doug

No Subject
by gabe
Posted on:6/21/2013 8:25:26 PM

awesome

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