? Handmade matters: Or so says a federal judge, ruling in a lawsuit challenging the validity of calling a multi-million case vodka “handmade.” Judge Jeffrey Miller, writing in a Tito ?s ?Handmade ? Vodka case, said that consumers have a right to expect a label — and the words on it — to mean something if the label has been approved by a regulatory agency. His decision means the case will continue towards trial, so any decision is a ways off. In fact, the blog’s liquor attorney told me he thought the judge overstepped here. Still, as has been noted on the blog before, this is yet another warning for the wine business to clean up its label act before the class action lawsuits begin.
? Raise a toast to bubbly: Sparkling wine production and consumption is at an all-time high, and why not? Most of it is cheap, well-made, and produced by people who aren’t bully boys. That I have been advocating for sparkling wine throughout the blog’s history is just another reason for happiness. The most interesting bit in this report? That Prosecco, the Italian sparkler, is the best-selling sparkling wine in the world and the favorite imported sparkling wine in the U.S. — though not the best-selling in this country. That remains sparkling wine made in the U.S, which means lots and lots and lots of wine like Andre.
? A lousy investment: The Wine Curmudgeon has always been baffled by the growth of wine as in investment, and now someone who knows much more about making money than I do has explained why. My pal Joe Roberts writes: “[I]investing ? in fine wine (in terms of hoping it will accrue in value, and that you will actually be able to realize that gain) is basically a really, really poor way to utilize your money. … [I]nvesting in any collectibles or commodities is, frankly, a joke.” He points out, in terms of risk mitigation and diversification, that wine investing in no way compares to a mutual index fund, making it little different from roulette or blackjack.