Prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920.  100 years ago.

Now, the President is leaning strongly toward a huge increase in tariffs for imported wines from Europe.  There have been numerous articles in wine magazines decrying these proposed tariffs and saying that they will put many local retailers in a tough bind. They can't possibly absorb the tariffs in the prices.  No one will buy any Burgundies anymore. Champagne prices, already high, will be out of sight.  It's hard to believe that anything good can come of these proposed increased tariffs, just like very little, if any, good came from Prohibition.  It's also hard to believe that the President graduated from Wharton.

Original Post

One more thought. Famously, Rutherford B. Hayes' wife did not approve of alcohol and did not serve it in the White House. Thus, she became known as "Lemonade Lucy." Perhaps we should refer to Ms. Trump as "Milkshake Melania."

 

irwin posted:

Prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920.  100 years ago.

It's hard to believe that anything good can come of these proposed increased tariffs, just like very little, if any, good came from Prohibition.  It's also hard to believe that the President graduated from Wharton.

As a Canadian I can think of a couple of good things that can come of the tariffs.

Wharton taught him how to use the bankruptcy system to his advantage.

Don't confuse me for someone who supports these tariffs, or protective tax policies in general, but in the case of wine, but retailers shouldn't be too affected due to the domestic supply of wine.  If burgundy prices double, retailers will substitute domestic goods in their place. There really shouldn't be a dent to their bottom line. The exception, and this could very well be the case, would be if consumers really demand those specific imports (say burgundy versus Sonoma pinot) and the demand for wine drastically decreases. But generally speaking, there is sparkling wine made domestically, and there is pinot made domestically, and cabs/merlots, and syrahs, etc.  I don't see retailers being as hurt financially as what is being described. While not perfect substitutes, they are pretty close (at least to someone with a crap palate like myself). So long as consumers are okay with the domestic substitutions and overall demand for wine remains unchanged, retailers will be no worse off.  The increased demand for domestic wine should make domestic wineries (and those employed by wineries) better off, as the increase in demand will make both prices and quantity produced increase for their product.  As prices rise for the U.S. consumer, they will be slightly worse off.  The difference between the gain for domestic producers and the loss for domestic consumers is how economists usually decide if a tariff is useful.  And Steve is right, Canadians might be the beneficiary of a glut of French wine, though from all the forums I don't read about the LCBO, it sounds like they may not see a change in price.

There has been lots of economic studies written about protectionist policies, and the general consensus tends to be that tariffs are a net negative.  Wine is interesting though. The difference in quality is completely subjective, yet could very well have an effect on how consumers respond to the change in availability of goods in the marketplace.  

AZ one thing to consider is out here we have very different And much better access to a variety of domestic wines then they do in other parts of the country which are actually far bigger markets. A lot of what we take  for granted could end up being shipped across the country to places that pay significantly more for these and other wines

Last edited by bomba503

There are a lot of American businesses whose business is importing wine. They’ll get killed and jobs will be lost. 

Assuming these tariffs go into effect I will

1) Buy more CA Pinot (in my preferred style)

2) Drink more Belgian beer

3) Buy more auction/cellar wines

4) Suck it up 

Essentially, while Melville and Anthill Farms might get more of my money, overall that is not going to be my primary strategy.

I really don't think that  much red Burgundy is consumed, but a decent amount of whites are purchased here in the US.  The tariffs on Burgundy alone won't kill the retailers.  But Champagne is a different product than sparkling wine from Gruet or Korbel or Schramsberg, to name a few.  Yes, they all are liquid and have bubbles. But most of us on the WS forum would not mistake a grower Champagne or even a NV Charles Heidseick for Cold Duck.

I sort of doubt that there will be significant job growth in the domestic wine production area if the tariffs are enacted.  I personally favor freedom, free trade, and the maximum exposure to consumers of products of their personal choice.

Last edited by irwin
irwin posted:

I personally favor freedom, free trade, and the maximum exposure to consumers of products of their personal choice.

How are you allowed to live so close to DC?  Are you on a White House watch list?

sd-wineaux posted:
irwin posted:

I personally favor freedom, free trade, and the maximum exposure to consumers of products of their personal choice.

How are you allowed to live so close to DC?  Are you on a White House watch list?

LOL.  I try to stay mostly below the radar.  A whale only gets harpooned when it surfaces.

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