The Grapevine

Wine Retail Industry News – Legal Driving Limit Proposal, High End “Wine Residences” in Shanghai

May 20th, 2013

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to charge people to buy wine from you? To the tune of, say, $12,000 a year? Also, a proposal to lower the legal blood-acohol content limit for drunk driving. [level-members]

First, news from Shanghai that a new “wine residence” has opened that offers retail wine sales, fine dining, personal wine lockers and wine classes. You can become a “Social Member” for the equivalent of about $12,000 and a “Full Member” for about twice that.

Perhaps this is evidence that the Chinese economy is still overheated, but the real take-away for all wine shop owners – and all retailers – is the importance of creating a) an entertaining retail experience for your clients, and b) a feeling of belonging.

That sense of belonging can be inclusive and friendly or, like ASC Fine Wines in Shanghai, exclusive. The important part is making them feel they are part of something.

BAC Limit Change Proposal
The National Transportation Safety Board would like to make it harder for folks to get behind the wheel and become a danger to themselves or other. Or they’re tryiing to make it harder for people to go out and responsibly have a good time. (And for restaurant and bar owners to earn a living.)

Tough call. Some social policies are almost impossible to defend on some level – it’s crazy for 20-year-olds to be able to vote and fight for their country but not drink – but are undeniably good social policy. (Before the law, that group was heavily overrepresented in alcohol-related highway deaths.)

What I didn’t realize is that our laws, with a limit in most places of 0.08% BAC, is more lenient than most of the world, where the 0.05% that NTSB is recommending, is already the norm.

We’ll see if the various powerful lobbying groups can sway sentiment on this, or if the politicians (and the public) think our current laws are sufficient. Then again, it seems like we’re not too far away from driverless cars. Google and nearly all major automakers are working on some form of vehicle that can navigate without human help.