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.