Bouncing over to Tom Wark’s blog, Daily Fermentations, I was amazed at what I was reading… Internet road rage at its best.
Tom titled it: How To Successfully Bait Tom Wark. I read it incredulously.
YOU STUPID DIPSHIT WHINING SNIVILING MUST BE A DOPESMOKING, SHORT-DICK SYNDROME, PUD. IT IS ALL ABOUT A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, FIRST, AND THE SHEER CAPACITY SECOND. DO YOU GO TO THE LOWES STORE EXPECTING, NAY DEMANDING, THAT THEY CARRY EVERY F—ING BRAND-SIZE-COLOR-MODEL-YEAR OF PAINT? DO YOU THINK THE GOV. OUGHT TO LET YOU(OR YOUR 14YR OLD) BUY YOUR ZANAX ON LINE OR AT WALMART? GO DIRECT IF YOU WANT, EVERY ONE ELSE THAT WANTS TO IS, JUST SHUT THE F— UP ON YOUR HIGH-HORSE-SMARTER THAN EVERY-ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD LIBERAL DROOL.
The first thing I asked myself, after getting to the end of this was, “Why is this person even bothering to read Tom’s blog?”
Tom’s very passionate and vocal about his dislike for the three-tier system. While I know the system is broken, and needs a major patch to fix it, after having worked within the system as a sales manager, I know it can’t completely go away. There just needs to be some sensible compromise.
Recently, an older gentleman told me that he remembers when hardware stores had a distribution house in every town across the US. If you owned a hardware store, goods were delivered from the local wholesaler to small little stores across the city. (From that to Home Depot…)
I grew up in a manufacturing community in Maine. I’d walk to school and pass the Pepperell Mill – Bolts of cotton flashed before my eyes, headed for the slicer, measured off in sheets – for sheets. I watched that town come to a screeching halt, as manufacturing became out-sourced to third world countries. I watched in fascination, and thought… “Some day, the whole world will be globalized.” That was in the early 1960s.
Shortly after I watched fabrics leaving for third-world manufacturing, the auto industry was hit, and Detroit fell from its monopolistic pinnacle.
Now, the wine and beer wholesalers are undergoing an evolutionary process that they never thought would happen.
I once heard someone say, “Being a wholesaler is a license to print money.” Interesting…
While the wholesalers provide very important relational links to local communities, they’re also in a position to control every bottle of wine that goes onto a shelf or on a wine list. The bigger they get, the more narrow the options on the shelves, and the fewer choices we all have for artisan wines. The more homogenized our choices become, the more need there is for finding our voices and letting our state governments know that they serve their constituents, not the lobbyist for the wholesalers… And that’s done by voting; otherwise, with no way to purchase these wines outside of California, people’s choices will be very narrow. It’s not a problem if you’re a fan of what’s on the shelves in your town. It’s a problem, though, if you crave something not on the shelves… Hence, the controversy.
A writer once told me (who works in a Washington DC government agency) that when the Republicans are in office, the wine cellar door slams shuts; when the Democrats are in office, the wine cellar is opened. I’m an Independent, so I’m not advocating here, just stating the facts as they’re known internally in DC, and shared to me by someone in the know. It’s not black or white. It just is what it is.
Evolution is inevitable. The Internet is changing everything we think, say, or do. Those of us (of legal age) who want to purchase anything on the Internet can do it, with the exception of wine.
Beer and spirits are broadly available locally, so we don’t have this problem of finding what we want… Neither do kids who want to buy something with zip for their frat or lake parties… That’s been going on since the beginning of time, and I’m betting that an Opus One or Screaming Eagle has never made it to one of those functions, unless some kid stole it from mommy and daddy’s stash.
So, as frustrated as Tom’s author was, there’s also a frustration on the side of legalizing wine shipments to adults. He (or she) is demonstrating the frustration, passion, and helplessness of the other side. It’s an interesting snapshot, really, isn’t it?
This communication shows what passion is on both sides. It also speaks to the arguments that exist, how they’re being articulated, and that something powerful is going on, or we wouldn’t be having these dialogs. I think we may be ever-so-slowly winning our right to purchase wine, no matter what state we’re in… And the wholesalers aren’t even “globalized, yet.”