Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Cost Wines, Media, Scandalous...lets get it straight!

It must have been a slow day around the National Post office. Lets see how can we blow this one up to grab some attention. California couple buys a bottle of "BC" wine and discovers it is California wine. Add the word "scandalous" and you have a story. It worked because the story was copied and repeated many times. I have a problem with this kind of reporting. First of all buyer beware. Do read the label! There is a market for inexpensive wines and the big three wine producers mentioned in the article are there to supply you with what you are prepared to pay for your wine.
Secondly, this has been going on for years.So suddenly this is worthy of a news item? Look at the Ontario scenario.Read this interesting synopsis of the situation in that province.. It may not be ideal or right but it is quite open and above board and a government sanctioned situation.

Third on my list. I am not necessarily a fan of the British Columbia Liquor Licensing and Liquor Distribution system, having had my own 4 year battle with them, but where might I ask should these wines be displayed? If they contain mostly California grapes should they go under the imported US, California section or if mostly Washington grapes should they be displayed under Washington state wines? Give me a break and stop stupid reporting like this. I do however have a problem with the minister responsible pretending he was unaware of this situation. So chase that down for a newsworthy story.
In the end what is really scandalous is the outrageous mark up and taxes imposed on wines here in BC and similarly in other provinces. For us it is 117%. So your cheap imported plonk, suddenly is not so cheap anymore.
I have said it before but my favorite US President said it all when he said:
" I think it is a great error to consider a heavy tax on wines as a tax on luxury. On the contrary, it is a tax on the health of our citizens."
Thomas Jefferson, American president and Renaissance man, (1743-1826)
Since we all know wine is good for your health, I say lower taxes on wine. It is time to put a whopping tax on those "whoppers" and fries. Greasy hamburgers cannot be good for the average citizen and are creating a burden on our health care system. Tax them!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A New Kind of Wine Doctor !

Should a doctor recommend wine for your health? There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that drinking wine, particularly red wine may be beneficial to your health and well being and yet doctors are loath to recommend a glass of wine (or two) to their patients. Their common concern has been their fear of the possibility of turning you into an alcoholic. This seems rather an unfounded fear. If you have it in your genes to become an alcoholic,you don't need your doctors blessing to become one.
So I was pleased to see one enterprising doctor do a little smart marketing. I congratulate him for his efforts to take the sting out of what is for some people an unpleasant experience. Dr. Scott Hanlon, a family physician, will let you enjoy some wine right after you get that needle.

I find it rather ironic that a doctor will stay away from suggesting a glass of wine might be just what the doctor ordered but have no problem prescribing one of the anxiolytic ( anxiety reducing ) drugs. In fact according to the American Psychiatric Association 61 million prescriptions a year are written by doctors. One of the most successfull novels of all time was Jacqueline Susan's "Valley of the Dolls". It has sold more than 30 million copies. it details the use and abuse of uppers and downers. The "dolls" of course refer to the downers or mood altering drugs.
In a new book by Dr. David Herzberg, titled "Happy Pills In America - Our Complex Love Affair With Designer Consciousness" Dr. Herzberg states "Patients have always demanded sedatives and stimulants from their doctors, who generally oblige them"
Now I ask you, would it not be of greater merit to recommend a glass of the fruit of the vine from one of many wonderful wine producing valleys in the world ( Sonoma, Napa, Loire and here in British Columbia the Okanagan Valley or you name your own favorite wine valley ) rather than the very addictive drugs from the Valley of the Dolls?