The Grapevine

Wine Industry News, April 13, 2015

April 13th, 2015

Your clients probably disagree, but there are some who think wine, beer, and spirits are priced too low. But then, you can’t really drink water instead – at least not in California. [level-members]

First, reports on the exemption from statewide water restrictions for large-scale farming operation. Vineyards, they claim, are not doing their fair share. Click here for the full story.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provocatively puts for the argument that our booze is too cheap and the low pricing is killing us. They do cite an interesting study:

Being a really heavy drinker — a 10-drink-a-day drinker — cost about 45 percent of the average person’s disposable income in 1950. In 2011, you could buy those same 10 daily drinks using only 3 percent of the average disposable income, according to a 2013 analysis published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. “Alcoholic beverages sold for off-premises consumption are more affordable today than at any time in the past 60 years,” the study concludes.

Tough to argue with those facts, if they are true, and the social health issues they point toward. Still, most of us are in the business of selling a different product than they’re talking about. Few of our clients spend even 3% of their disposable income on alcohol. And looking back at Prohibition’s failure and the current day failure of the war on drugs, it’s hard to argue that taxes would have a huge impact on the real problem drinkers. Those who want to drink will drink, regardless of the law or taxation. Still, this is intersting reading. The full article is here.