Winebits 659: The “They want to bring back Prohibition” edition


“That’s too much wine — back up the paddy wagon.”

This week’s wine news: Reaction from the cyber-ether to proposed federal guidelines that take us closer to banning drinking in the U.S. – just one glass of wine a day for women and two for men

The banker’s perspective: Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank is one of the smartest people in the wine business, and he sees the threat clearly: “What science is behind the recommended change? The report cited only a single study that examined the difference between men consuming one or two drinks per day. My question is how can an unbiased group conclude that a single study should outweigh and counter the weight of decades of prior work?” McMillan also points out, yet again, how remiss the wine business has been in addressing the threat.

The retail perspective: The National Association of Wine Retailers is blunt: “It appears to the NAWR that there is much more at work here than reasonable recommendations based on a solid body of evidence. It appears to the National Association of Wine Retailers that a significant anti-alcohol agenda is at work in devising the proposed new guidelines on alcohol consumption.”

Even the Wine Institute: The Wine Institute, a trade group for the California wine business, is notorious for its refusal to have anything to do with wine and health. That it finally issued a statement criticizing the new guidelines – as milquetoast as it was – speaks volumes about how the wine business finally sees the Neo-Prohibitionist threat. For it is a threat, as I’ve noted many times — equating moderate drinking with cigarette smoking is past science and is about Prohibition.

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