November 19, 2010

Unfiltered #3 – Craig Wolf and HR5034

Unfiltered: Episode 3 from VinTank on Vimeo.

Yes, it was time for VinTank to take a stand against HR5034 at the source, the WSWA and Craig Wolf.  All quotes from our Muppet stand-in for Craig Wolf are HIS ACTUAL words (sources listed below).  Please help fight HR5034 by supporting these sites and organizations:

Also please drop in on the musings of Tom Wark when you have the chance at where he fights tirelessly to remove the barriers for consumers to access wine direct.

Sources for Craig Wolf quotes:

“We envision a future where the WSWA Convention is viewed in the eyes of the world like the Consumer Electronics Show is to the electronics industry.”

“America’s regulated three-tier system stimulates innovation.”

“Sarah Palin is “is a great supporter of America’s free enterprise system and understands that industries like the beverage alcohol industry play a key role in driving our national economy.”

“What her [Sarah Palin]particular ideas are with respect to alcohol I don’t know.”

“It’s a direct result of the relationship you create, the product you create (and) the investment you put into it yourself. And that’s in any business, not just wine and spirits. … I don’t think wholesalers need to apologize for that… those who worked the hardest to build their brands will be met with success, and opening up DTC shipping to accommodate the smaller, lesser-known brands isn’t the answer.”

“Most Americans were satisfied with the system [the wine distribution system] as it is except for a small, very vocal segment who say they can’t get their bottle of 1997 whatever.”

Craig Wolf, Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association New York Times – January 30, 2008

“Direct-to-consumer shipments will never drive a wholesaler out of business, but the deregulation it is fostering will….With Granholm, the wine industry has opened a Pandora’s box that will lead to vodka, beer, and wine, all flow­ing through carriers who don’t check for ID. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

The only real issue in terms of the substance of the law is that states are clearly told that they can’t pass facially discriminatory laws relating to suppliers. So we’re in agreement with the suppliers in that vein.

To some extent. I’ve made it clear to all of the wine and spirits supplier groups and I think Craig [Purser] has to the beer supplier groups as well, that we will continue to work with them on other issues. We just have a fundamental disagreement about this issue. Everyday wholesalers work with suppliers. That’s what we do. And we work with retailers. That’s what we do. We are close with all of them and that won’t change. But we will stand up for things that we believe are correct. And we will vehemently oppose those who seek to deregulate alcohol and to create chaos through that course of action.

  • Great job — I love the Craig Wolfe puppet! Too bad we didn’t get to see who won the arm-wrestling match…

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    • Mark

      I just read Wine Spectator article on this topic – I support all the wineries and retailers who want to meet the needs of individual customers. I also support the goals of Costco that want to cut out unnecessary middle-people like Craig and his anti-free market monopolistic cronies. I do not support unnecessary, non-valued wholesalers who limit consumer choice. I am hoping that the new tea-party backed members of the house will remember the great whiskey rebellion fondly.

  • Paul –

    Very nice job. I have never been a muppet before. You should know, however, that I am actually not partial to vests, and I don’t have a southern accent. But I do think I could take Tom Wark in an arm wrestling contest. 🙂


    • Craig, we’d love to host you for a real interview and discuss HR5034 and direct shipping. Are you game?

    • Happy to do an interview. Give me a call. Craig

  • Tom Wark

    Now we have a great seminar topic for the next NCSLA Conference. “Wrestling Over Direct Shipping”

  • Now THAT’s some funny stuff. Great way to break down some of the inconsistencies in the logic of HR5034

  • Craig

    Nice to see that you have a sense of humor as you destroy stores such as mine.

    I will have the 1997 whatever please.

  • Paul, great dialogue.

    Craig, your system and constant pay to play into the political stream will no doubt come to an end. At the end of the day, retailers sell the wines they choose to sell and support the suppliers who support them. If they want to choke you out of business, they will. Any intelligent economical model understands that increasing selection, access to products encourages more business. Ordering wine over the internet is inefficient, but it should be the consumers’ choice, not yours, and certainly not a few industry players. Why is it that no other country has such stupid regulations that cheat states out of taxes? Why do continue to allow this?

    Pride comes before the fall.

    -Alex Andrawes

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  • Josh Raynolds

    Walk into your average grocery store and walk the wine aisles and you’ll see the future that Craig Wolf envisions.

    • Craig needs glasses! But if his vision wasn’t so impaired by the big multi national liquor companies he just might be able to see. The wswa future is not anything but boring! wine drinkers don’t want that, they want selection. Nicely said Josh.

  • Josh Raynolds

    I love how Wolf says that most Americans are satisfied with the 3 tier system. As if most Americans have any idea what it is! How about explaining to them exactly how it operates and then asking them if it sounds good? Fat chance of that happening.

  • Josh Raynolds

    I’ll bet that Mr. Wolf’s copy of Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom” is pretty dog-eared and highlighted by now.

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  • […] vintank  Finally, our interview with Craig Wolf
    from the WSWA on Unfiltered. Help us fight HR5034 & Pls RT: […]

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