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Bad Wine & The Industry Reality Check In News Fetch’s Featured wine.

I got an email Friday from a loyal News Fetch subscriber who commented on my abysmal experience with a nasty French Malbec

The email questioned my previous resolve to avoid most retail establishments because — despite several decades of studying and tasting wine — I could do no better than 50% in separating drinkable wine from WD-40.


The Email

August 1, 2014 at 5:26 PM
Dear Lewis
I sincerely hope you’re doing what you said you were going to do, and that is to NOT buy any wine that you hadn’t tasted first?

Remember that grocery sets at Safeway, Trader Joe’s and most other big chains are made in some office somewhere by people who really don’t know much about wine and are in the pockets of the big distributors.

Buy your wine from retailers who buy only what’s good and play the distributors off each other to get the best wine possible for their store. My recommendation is to pretend Safeway is radioactive and just stay away from their wine section.
Best of luck and I love your News Fetch,
(wine distributor owner)

My Reply

In handling all the emails I got when I first terminated the feature, many of the comments said how informative it was that I was trying to buy wine at retail like the average consumer that purchases 80%+ of all wine in the US …

Thus, I am doing a limited amount of that while relying on the occasional tasting sample, a few recommendations from the ONE single local retail sales person around here that has ever been accurate for me (Paul at Sonoma Market), and mainly tasting by the glass before buying.

The average consumer retail experience is a powerful reality check for producers and offers a glimpse at how the industry continues to shoot itself in the foot with a nuclear-tipped cruise missile.

Crappy wine holds back the wine market far more than any other factor.

Buying where real consumers shop is clearly punishment for my palate, my wallet and my septic system leach field.

However, it is a real-world connection to just how bad the wine is for most people and an indication why beer and spirits remain the drinks of choice.

I have NEVER had to pour an IPA down the drain.