Let’s Ask our Educators
to Educate
The Center on Alcohol Marketing and
Youth at Johns Hopkins University has
determined that each liquor store added
to the city of Los Angeles was associated
with 3.4 incidents of violence per year.
Therefore researchers concluded it is ur-
gent that “alcohol outlet density” be re-
duced nationally.
Gee, that’s really going to the heart
of the problem! While they are at it, how
about reducing “parking lot density” to
reduce the number of traffic accidents.
Oh, you are afraid that people will have
to drive around, and just get into more
Speaking of accidents, efforts by our
industry to better educate the public to
the dangers of drinking and driving have
contributed to a 65% decrease in alcohol-
related traffic fatalities, since 1982, ac-
cording to the Century Council.
Seems that educating people is a lot
more effective than inconveniencing them.
Intent of the Law
Law is defined as “a binding custom or
practice of a community.” How that is
defined in legislation can be challenging,
but the intent of the law is generally clear.
So it has played out in the case of
ShipCompliant’s MarketPlace platform.
This system was developed for direct
consumer sales of wine, but the SLA has
determined that they are not compliant
with state rules.
They determined that although these
products passed through the retailer and
wholesaler, they did so in an entirely pas-
sive way. According to the SLA, licensees
played no active role in decisions regard-
ing stocking, pricing or promotion of these
products. The goods merely passed through
their hands for a flat fee.
I suppose this idea could hold a passing
appeal. However, I believe that the intent
of the law is to have licensed individuals
fully responsible and engaged in these deci-
sions and not be a passive transfer point. If
I am right and those standards ever began
to erode, one ‘binding custom and practice
of the community’—called the three tier
system—might also be challenged.
Millennial Power
It has become clear in the past few years
that the Millennial generation is full of ed-
ucated, curious 20-somethings who hold a
lot of buying power in their hands…along
with their smartphones. Today’s young
wine consumers are proving to be shrewd,
savvy customers who don’t exactly drink
what their parents do (pg. 20). Millenials
are also the group that has grown up with
social media. See pg. 28 to better understa-
and how the wine business in particular is
enhanced by strategic social media.
As I write this, we are preparing to
head to Orlando for this year’s WSWA
Convention. For the past few years, it’s
been amazing to see the flavor spectrum
expand from vodka, to whiskey and tequi-
la and beyond. Check out “The Fervor for
Flavor” (pg. 32) to see how the infusions
continue to make waves both on- and off-
premise. We also recently sat down with
Craig Wolf of WSWA (pg. 10) to get a
preview of this year’s event. Lastly, when
it finally warms up in New York, I really
start to think about gin-based cocktails.
I’m not alone. In “The Gin Game,” dis-
cover on pg. 40 how gin is integral to the
current cocktail renaissance.
May 2013
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