Wine industry: From worse to worser
The thing that’s so cool about Google alerts is that they can sort through the tsunami of incoming information and bring seemingly unrelated phenomena together, in a way that lets us understand the world more clearly. And what I’m understanding, after reading just 24 hours of alerts for the word “wine,” is more confirmation that things are looking very, very bleak for the economy.
I’m particularly alive to this because I just found out my savings are tied up with the Madoff scandal on Wall Street — yes, Bernie “$50 billion” Madoff, that sack of shit. Yes, I lost a bunch of money — I think; it’s all so unclear — and so you’ll have to take my pessimistic mood in that context. But take it also in the context of Tom Wark’s prescient post last week, Prepare: It’s about to get real ugly out there.
Those Google wine alerts? Here are a few that set my hair on fire.
Good luck to you, California wineries. You’ll need it. Here’s hoping those meetings come up with some good ideas on how to keep the wolf from your door.
The header says it all.
Quote from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The number of bottles wineries shipped directly to consumers increased just 2.4 percent this year, compared with a 13.8 percent rise the prior year, according to the study. This echoes something Wark wrote: “I’m betting that 2009 will be the first time since 1992 that total gallons of wine consumed in America will decrease from the year before. And it won’t be a small drop in consumption, either.”
Granted, that’s down in Arkansas. But could California wineries be next to ask for a bailout? I’m no economist, but Schwarzenegger’s call for an increase in sales taxes, including for alcoholic drinks, just could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. I was generally supportive of that a few weeks ago, but now I’m beginning to wonder. Small family wineries could especially be harmed. That’s the thing that’s so frustrating about huge problems: Every potential solution has a downside.
Finally — my favorite:
I’m drinking. I’m shrugging.