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A Manifesto for Change in the Wine Industry Redux

One of the most powerful functions of a wine blog (or any blog for that matter), should the writer choose to accept a challenge bigger than themselves, is the ability to create positive change by shining a light on an issue(s) that might not otherwise attract the mainstream spotlight.

Advocacy of any sort starts as a solo from the voice of the lonely before turning into an A capella and then a choral piece before finally becoming majestically orchestral.

I find issue and policy work of any nature to be noble work done by noble men and women.

For this reason, I really admire Tom Wark from Fermentation for so consistently taking up the mantle of consumer and retailer choice in the wine shipping battle.  It is lonely work.  Many a man has taken up the cause in the wine business before turning to less Sisyphean tasks.

Nearly five years after the Granholm ruling, what many expected to be an epochal event, not enough has changed.  Tom presses on, logging miles to testify in courts hither and yon, while using his platform for something that serves the greater wine community.


The utter bullshit of our wine laws and the machinations of the three-tier hints at national partisan politics writ large.

Last week, in an ongoing salvo, Wark wrote one of the most lucid, cogent and compelling reads I’ve seen for why the three-tier system is irrevocably broken and unequivocally corrupt.  Tom published this screed, this manifesto, as a blog post – a 9,000 word blog post.

To me, Tom’s work deserves wider attention than what a 74-second attention span affords in a scan and flit from the page of the web browser.

With his permission from my request, I proactively formatted the piece into a white paper-like format and added a couple of flourishes for readability.  I touched nary a word of his otherwise dandy work.  Here, you can download, “A Manifesto for Change in the Wine Industry” by Tom Wark.

Forward to a friend, discuss it, talk about it, generally give this work life as a set of talking points for making wine shipping issues something more than an A capella, when the opportunity is orchestral.


Posted in, It Seems to Me .... Permalink | Comments (1) |


On 03/22, Jo Diaz wrote:

I also admire Tom for taking this one on. His day job of having the Specialty Wine Retailers Association gives him more insight than any of us could possibly gather in a life time. As a result, no one else is going to have the same passion, understanding, or follow through.

Tom’s a great publicist, and he’s doing a great job for his client, getting out all the things that need to be told about the system that’s place for the wine industry.

I just had an importer say to me, “These things need to be said, and I can’t do it, because I have to work with wholesalers.”

Tom’s not in that system the same way, and can disclose.

The industry needs him, and he takes his job seriously… Thankfully.


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