Sunday, April 26, 2015

Should You Ever Discount Your Wine?

I'm betting nobody knows who Thorstein Veblen is. Like this picture, you have to be a little cockeyed to know him; be a Jeopardy Champion, enjoy thumbing through pictures of people who look like axe murderers, or maybe you are an economist with little to do with your free time except refresh your memory about a Veblen good?
One on-going debate in the wine business where Veblen's theories play a role is price discounts. Should you discount, and if so when and by how much? To get at an answer we'll review some economic basics. (... I know how exciting that sounds but stick with it. I won't kill you with math.)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

How Important Are Tasting Rooms to Success?

Federales posing during the 1910 Mexican Revolution

I am a closet genealogist so when I began dating my wife, I started kicking cans in her ancestors. It turned out that one of her ancestors was a minor player at the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence and a Federale. I think the system was a little less formal than what we experience today.    
But there is a bit of a standoff taking place in parts of wine country. No, the battle isn't with the Federales - not with the ABC, CDFA, BOE, TTB, or FDA each of whom has a regulatory role in the wine business. The battle is over events, tourism, and tasting rooms.