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Field Notes from a Wine Life – Flying the Bird for Freedom Edition

… Odds and ends from a life lived through the prism of the wine glass …

Taking the Fight into the Street:  HR 5034

By now, you have probably heard of HR 5034, the Stalinesque, protectionist, anti-wine shipping bill that was introduced in the House of Representatives last week. 

Cough, cough. 

As if anybody who follows wine online could possibly miss it. 

On Sunday, I Googled “HR 5034” and about 6500 results were returned.  Today, Wednesday, I Googled it and there were 444,000 results.

That’s what you call “viral.”

And, I was pleased to see that the major wine associations came out with coordinated announcements denouncing the bill, as well – just as Tom Wark, the white hat Don of wine shipping rights, suggested.  Good stuff.

These punk National Beer Wholesalers have officially brought a knife to a gun fight.

A brief mea culpa, too.  I’m guilty of writing a recent post where I said that advocacy on winery shipping issues was a bit of windmill chasing until wineries fomented a significant movement that supported the advocacy with commensurate action.  That is a valid opinion until a nefarious bill is introduced by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) that proposes to cut the head off the wine shipping snake with partisan politics.

Ironically enough, in the 444,000 results on Google related to HR 5034, do you know who is scarcely represented?  The craft beer movement.  It’s a weird quirk.  I contacted the PR contact for the NWBA asking for comment and have neglected to receive a response.  I have to believe that there is no way they anticipated the wine counter-movement that has taken place.

My hope expectation is this bill will be stopped in its tracks, largely due to the coalition of wine lovers that have united online.

This alignment in disdain for HR 5034 got me thinking – I write all the time, what possibly could I add to the HR 5034 conversation that hasn’t already been said?  I came up empty, but then I realized that an issue of this magnitude required a level of commitment that exceeded mere words.

I’ve decided to ink my body in protest.  Below is the tattoo that I got yesterday.

Instead of writing a lengthy post about the mechanics of lobbyists, campaign donations, paybacks and B.S. bills attempting to become law, I decided to get a tattoo that takes my level of commitment to another level.

Let me know what you think.


* FTC Disclosure statement: The tattoo is sponsored by Wrecking Balm Tattoo removal system

Toot, Toot

Thanks to the good folks at Snooth, as well.  In their wisdom (or lack of it), they ran an interview with me today and allowed me to pontificate on all sorts of fun things – value wines, wine for beginners, my deathbed wine and other bits of wine conversation.  Check it out here. 


Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (6) |


On 04/21, @nectarwine wrote:

It is pretty intersting that the craft beer movement is scarcely represented. I’m super excited about the motivation of the online wine community. The response to the Facebook page has been outrageous and team up with the good folks at has been big. 

Don’t forget to write your representative and join the Facebook STOPHR5034 revolution

Josh @nectarwine on Twitter

On 04/22, Adam Japko wrote:

Jeff, I have been struggling with the same dilemma of how to add to the conversation and cause.  The tattoo is interesting…I will start investigating nose rings this afternoon:-) It is great to see the momentum that can be generated as dismissive of dark age legislation.

On 04/22, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Keep calling and keep asking for comment!! They have to answer questions sometime.

On 04/24, Joe Herrig wrote:

hmmm…you must use the “Mangroomer”.

The “viral”- as you say- response to this has been pretty incredible.  The facebook page is probably cresting 10,000 fans (oh, sorry, “likes”) right now, and I think I was “fan/liker” #8 about a week ago.  I mentioned the facebook page to my Congressman in the letter I wrote.

I haven’t had a chance to speak with some distributor friends of mine, but I’d argue they’re probably against this bill too.  No distributor’s gonna take on every wine out there, and by allowing the small ones to ship direct to the general public, they may be creating pull-through demand for unique varieties and regions…distributors can dovetail onto this demand with wines in their portfolio.  It’s a win(e)-win(e).

On 10/20, icebabes wrote:

ICE BABES is an Importer, Manufacturer and Wholesaler of top quality ladies clothing based in the East End of London. Our aim is to bring you value and quality with fast delivery, backed up with a reliable, knowledgeable & friendly service.

On 07/02, cheap snapbacks wrote:

If you have a favorite team or player you will have a huge selection of baseball hats. They are available world-wide and usually are quite reasonably priced.


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