The other three "R"s
Shame on the Virginia Wineries Association and the Virginia Wine Marketing Office for not raising a bigger stink when the General Assembly acquiesced to the Wines and Spirits Wholesalers who wanted direct distribution stopped [“The hard sell,” The Working Pour, October 14, 2008]. WSWA did it with $250,000 and a threat that the federal three-tier law was being violated.
They didn’t bother to say that most of the wholesalers in the state have import licenses, which is two tiers of the three-tier system. Would that be any different than a winery having a wholesale license?
The effect of that bill was to remove many Virginia wines from the retail shelves and raise already high prices another $2 or $3 per bottle.
The fix, a virtual wholesale operation that the state created with $268,000 of taxpayers’ money, was not the answer to the problem. What happens if they do not break even? Does the legislature take more tax dollars to keep the facade going? The law should be repealed and our wineries issued wholesale licenses. That will reduce costs and drop Virginia wine prices $2 to $3 per bottle on the retail shelves.
On the promotion side, more money needs to be spent. The Marketing Board should zero in on what grows best here. California cannot hold a candle to Virginia Cabernet Franc and Viognier. We are one of the few places in the world that make a varietal Petit Verdot, and it is good. Some of our late harvest wines are fantastic and a lot less than the pricey Canadians.
Somebody needs to talk to our restaurants. They should be devoting half of their wine list to Virginia wines and should feature locally produced wines. Pricing should be favorable for Virginia wines (maybe the ABC should make it a requirement in getting an on-premise license).
Publications who write about wine need someone with knowledge to proof. The Wine Gazette Editor compared a Cabernet Sauvignon to St. Emilion. Wrong place for Cabernet. Your own J. Toby has made many mistakes that a little Google might have prevented. For example: The process of clearing the sediment from the wine is called Remauage, not Riddling. But this is done by Riddling, which is the art of turning and tilting the bottle. The Riddling is done by a Remeueur. He did get one thing right: Thibaut-Janission is a world class sparkling wine with a most reasonable price.
J. Tobias Beard replies: Actually, Disgorgment is the term for clearing the sediment from the wine, while Remuage is the French term for Riddling, which is, as I said in my story, the process by which the dead yeast cells are consolidated in the neck of the bottle.
It’s good news that the University of Virginia is cited for its positive diversity [“Mag touts UVA Diversity,” News from This Just In @c-ville.com, October 21]. But a diverse student body has many minority groups represented, including Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and others. When citing diversity, don’t limit it to just one group, as if that group is the only one bringing diversity to the campus. The other minority groups count, too.
Thank you for the refreshing and insightful report on Tom Perriello in the October 7-13 issue of C-VILLE. It was a pleasure to find a newspaper providing such a comprehensive view of Perriello’s efforts and accomplishments. His approach is always honest, open, and positive, in sharp contrast to that of his opponent, Virgil Goode. For example, on Sunday, October 12, 2008, a Letter to the Editor from Virgil Goode was published in the Martinsville Bulletin concerning cancellation of the Perriello-Goode debate scheduled to be televised Tuesday, October 7, on Charlottesville’s Channel 29. Mr. Goode wrote, “The debate was not canceled. It was never scheduled by me.”
In consulting with Channel 29 I received an e-mail from the news director which states, “Mr. Goode’s campaign manager confirmed the debate for us during the first week in September. One week before the debate was supposed to take place, Mr. Goode informed us that he had a conflict with that date (despite having the date in writing since April)…”
Mr. Goode’s letter continues, “I have done one debate in Charlottesville with the Senior Statesman. I have done one debate with the Sorenson Institute at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. I want to do another debate so that we will have three debates, which is the same number being done by the presidential candidates.”
What kind of math is Mr. Goode doing that he suggests his three debates before small, localized audiences are equal to three televised presidential debates which are available to be seen by millions of people? The truth is Mr. Goode cowers at a televised debate because the larger audience would surely witness his shrill bigotry and erroneous accusations as were conspicuously evident in the first two debates. Mr. Goode’s campaign, heavily funded by lobbyists, preys on the fearful and ill-informed, as depicted by Goode’s recent ominous TV ad which portrays his opponent as a terrorist.
Tom Perriello, born and raised in Virginia, accepts no money from lobbyists and, if elected, would truly represent the people of this district. His platform presents intelligent, honest, articulate proposals which would greatly benefit the 5th District.
Jeannine “JJ” Towler