The rest of the 70’s and into the early 80’s were spent ensconced at the University Of Texas School of Business finishing my undergraduate business degree, MBA degree and teaching undergraduate business classes. Wine, however, remained a growing fascination. Those years were lean. Odd jobs generated what little spending money I had. Once, my prospects were so bleak, I even took a job catching live snakes at night for a campus area pet store and the occasional rattler for a university science project. Wrestling rattlers on the end of a snake stick is a bit off the wall and frightening. But I needed some, as we say, walkin’ around money, and hell, this is Texas. Finally, I ended up with a desk job at an insurance agency. At least that was safe from venomous reptiles. During this time I also received a small university paycheck as I continued my position as an instructor at the UT Business School. Certainly, not the income needed for a fine wine collection or even much consumption, but we did our best.
Snooth.com recently posted a very thought provoking article on the “Shrinking Gap Between Wineries and Consumers.” The article states that over 90% of wine in America is sold by retailers. The writer goes on to make the point that many wine drinkers crave a “connection” with the wines and wineries they enjoy. The fact that we even spend the time to write and produce Bacchus and Beery is clear testament to that observation. But because most of the wine we buy is sold by a retailer or sommelier based on price, availability and convenience; that “winery connection” we crave can be hard to make.
It appeared that the momentum behind the ludicrous H.R. 5034 had waned, but just this Monday retiring Congressman Delahunt of Massachusetts re-filed HR 5034, aka the C.A.R.E. Bill, with some minor changes. He is also asking that the bill be heard before congress adjourns this year. The rumor is a hearing may be scheduled as early as September 29th. Why the rush? Doesn’t Congress have bigger problems than your wine club shipment?