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Publishers’ Page: December 2014 News & Views

Posted on  | November 21, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Out of the Blue

Have a little holiday reading for you…aside from our issue. In From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism is Making Us Afraid of Everything, author Julie Gunlock writes about how environmentalists, public health officials, politicians and government regulators benefit from keeping the American public scared of consumer products in general.

She explains that after a “scare” has gained momentum, the sure cure always seems to rest on more regulations and increased government spending, which in turn need to be funded by increased taxes. No respect for the discerning consumer and the free enterprise system.

The irony is that our industry suppliers adhere to the strictest manufacturing and marketing standards. Yet we are still a primary focus of the alarmists, and not only anti-alcohol forces. Two recent examples: Attorneys are racing to court because of Tito’s Vodka using the phrase “handmade,” and Templeton Rye’s backstory of Iowa inspiration (page 58). The claims: terrible damage has been done to individuals exposed to these phrases!

Such examples serve to show that alarmism can come suddenly and unpredictably. This is a much broader issue and you may want to recognize this as you deal with specific concerns in the community and among political contacts.

William G. Slone

Four More Years!

Governor Cuomo returns to office coincidentally with the announcement of New York State being honored as “Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine. In the grander scheme of things, this may represent a small footnote to his first term, but it is a reflection of the kind of practical, hands-on attention that we hope will carry over to broader issues that affect an industry that is a major contributor to the state’s tax revenue and tourist appeal.

SLA Chairman Rosen has pointed out that “by working hand in hand with the industry, Governor Cuomo has created a climate where New York’s wine producers have grown.” This proliferation of New York State brands—which also includes spirits, beer and cider—has only added to the enormous choice already available to purchase here.

The existence of a significant number of retail outlets that are geared to carry a broad assortment of wines and spirits is critical. Manned by knowledgeable staff, these stores and a healthy base of restaurants represent the appropriate endgame after the state has invested so heavily in the beverage industries. And thankfully, these licensees have an increasingly interested New York consumer and a Governor who cares.

Jason A. Glasser
Chief Executive Officer

Seasonal Hits

Of all the wines that have a seasonal connection, perhaps none is stronger than bubbly and the holidays. Before and during meals, for gift-giving at home and at work, and ultimately for toasting a new calendar year, bubbles abound.

Our sparkling coverage this year drills deep into Prosecco, which has quickly become a household name in America. Best of all, now that Prosecco producers enjoy the esteem and protection of DOC and DOCG status, the category is able to focus more on quality control as well as marketing (page 20). And at the same time, Champagne’s image is enjoying a rebound; the higher margin on Champagnes is always welcome, and we’ve got some selling tips to help you move inventory.

In the spirits department, this could be the biggest holiday season ever for bourbon and other brown goods. With all whiskies surging, you’ll want to have both a broad range of types and price points, but just as important, you’ll want to make sure you can explain the points of distinction among these popular brands and styles.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik
Chief Operating Officer


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