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Tuesday Twaddle – news you can use

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Americans have finally figured out that red wine is good for them, but they don’t know that drinking too much of it is bad, according to a new American Heart Association survey.

“[W]e need to do a better job of educating people about the heart-health risks of overconsumption of wine,” said an AHA spokesperson.

I don’t think the problem is a lack of education. Doctors have been saying for decades that drinking too much is dangerous. Everybody knows that. The reason people drink too much isn’t because they’re ignorant but because they’re unhappy and want to self-medicate. That’s the real problem, and I don’t know if it has a solution.

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Here’s the V-Man in the news again, reminding businesses to be “heartfelt” and “human”, to give their customers “a hug or a handshake” and “overcare” and “listen” to them, instead of “pushing.”

Can’t disagree with that. What I wonder about is why, in person, Gary strikes me as rather arrogant–just what he tells businesses they shouldn’t be.

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Nice to see the Salt Lake [City] Tribune reassuring Christians that wine is “a blessing, not a curse.” I always thought that anti-alcohol Christians were being a little hypocritical. How can they condemn drinking wine when wine is practically at the center of everything people did in The Bible, both Old and New Testaments? Jesus himself made wine, and made it part of the sacrament. These anti-alcohol Christians are the same kind of people who talk about “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” I don’t trust them.

* * *

The State of Pennsylvania, some time ago, made history when it began selling wine through kiosks in public spaces. Now, “the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is toying with making hard liquor available in the kiosks.”

That’s a good idea, but the real problem isn’t that the kiosks, which require swiping photo IDs and credit cards and taking a breath test, are too complicated to use. It’s that PA remains a control state that doesn’t trust its adult citizens enough to let them buy booze in a grocery store. What’s all this talk about Big Government I hear coming from the right? I’d like to see the Tea Party get behind eliminating control states and coming out for the free shipping of alcoholic beverages throughout the U.S.

* * *

OMG, now it’s the Battle of the Mommy Wines!

Not exactly up there with other celebrated battles, such as Hastings, Waterloo or Gettyburg. But the war of words is heating up between Clos La Chance (an excellent winery), which produces “Mommyjuice” wine, and “Mommy’s  Time out,” an Italian wine whose New Jersey importer claims to own the copyright on the “M”-word.

I say let the two company CEOs fight it out in a UFC Octogon, armed with baby carriages and used Pampers.

And that’s your news roundup for today!

  1. Interesting post Steve. Incidentally, never met Gary V. in person, only seen his vlog. Personally, I like what he’s doing, mixing it up, trying to expand and educate in a different way. With regard to him being arrogant, I get that maybe a little bit. I watched an excerpt of his keynote speech (courtesy of 1winedude) at the Premier Napa event (I think) a while back and I could see how the audience could have perceived him as a tad cocky. But then again, he was challenging vinters and the industry at large to dramatically change their branding and marketing tactics- so yeah, I could see that as coming off a bit raw. Nobody likes to be told they are doing something wrong, be it a Christian, muslim, Student, wine professional or otherwise, that’s just the way we roll as humans. Thanks for the thought provoking posts. Cheers.

  2. Jerry, he gave an ungracious speech at Wine Enthusiast when we honored him with a Wine Star Award 2 years ago.

  3. ugh, not cool.

  4. Is a transcript or video of his Wine Star speech available online?

  5. I don’t know, Mike.

  6. James McCann says:

    You will be happy to know that in PA, it is the right that is strongly in favor of privatization, with the left against. As you note, however, it is usually the opposite when it comes to direct or retail shipping.

  7. I feel compelled to point out that the few times I’ve spent time with Gary V. in person, he’s been gracious, enthusiastic, and very, very supportive. This is all despite the fact that he knows for a fact that I wasn’t a Wine Library TV viewer, didn’t shop at his family’s store, and don’t subscribe to DailyGrape, etc.

    Gary has zero reason to be as kind and supportive to me as he has been. In fact, about the only reasons he has for doing that are 1) I’ve publicly offered comments like this one in support of what he’s doing, mostly during the time when he was first breaking out of the wine world and getting (much) bigger in the biz world, and 2) he genuinely wants to support what I’m doing.

    His public support is not the act of an ungracious or arrogant person.

    Of course, Gary is crazy high-energy and very, very confident (I share some of those traits, just not to the same extremes) and from personal experience I can attest that this can come off as arrogance or over-confidence even when it’s not at all meant in that way.

    I also sense some frustration on Gary’s part – he’s living things in the media world that work, that he knows to basically be true, and yet he talks to people every day that tell him those things can’t work (ESPECIALLY people in the wine world). If I’m sick of hearing that, I can only imagine how Gary feels about it.

    All of this is a long way of saying that we should be cutting this guy some slack – he’s galvanizing thousands of people around the product of wine, getting them excited about it and wanting to experiment with it, and the tough love advice he has for businesses is basically true. I’ll take the perceived over-confidence with all of the rest, because the net result is a wine world that’s bigger, richer and better for having him around.

  8. Steve – I’ve got to agree with 1WineDude. I’ve only interacted with Gary V on the twitterverse, but he’s always struck me as very grateful for where he is – and very gracious to all those around him. I’m not even a sports fan, but this struck a chord! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbzY2VJ5krM

    My guess (and hope) is that he’ll see this post, reach out, and change your mind.

  9. Gary’s not arrogant he’s just Jersey, and that can be a little scarey to Left Coast sissy boys. B.

  10. Bernard, yes, I’m sure all you big butch Downeasters gnaw down trees with your teeth and eat raw moose. Thanks for weighing in!

  11. Mommyjuice? Mommys time out?

    This is the most asinine marketing ploy ever.

    Where will both be 5 years from now? Hopefully this is one trend that will die out quickly.

  12. @gdfo Macphail just came out with “Home Girl” Pinot. :) Watch some rap artist take umbrage with that!

  13. I think ths type of wines for names are pure kitch and a way to get rid of ‘juice’.

  14. Steve, I first saw you in the Blood into Wine dvd. Was drawn by your humble and calm presence, which is stark contrast to GV. Having said that I have watched hundreds of episodes of wltv. I believe it has helped me to be more aware of what I am experiencing in terms of attempting to describe what it is that I taste and smell. So that is good. He is the arrogance monster and I can see that I am moving to a more balanced wine blog…keep up the good work.

  15. Rob, thank you very much.

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