Author Archives for Tom Wark

Italian Wines Score a Marketing GOOOOOAAAAL


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
I heard from a couple of importers of Italian wines. Each believes Italy’s win in the World Cup final will translate into increased sales for Italian wines in America.
While the connection seems a bit vacant on the surface, when you dig down deep into how we focus in our purchasing decisions, the assumption […]

The Ugly Underbelly of Wine and Politics


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
Question: What’s it cost to buy a legislator in Ohio?
Answer: $2,500.
This is how much the Wholesale Beer & Wine Association paid Ohio Representative Mathew Dolan just days before he went to bat on the wholesalers’ behalf to prevent new rules from passing that would have opened up the Ohio market to wineries from […]

An Insider’s Top 10 Tips for a Successful Wine Country Visit


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
Its that time of year. Visitors looking for a taste of the authentic are plowing through Northern Californias wine country looking to soak up that wine country lifestyle theyve read so much about. The visitors will come in droves to Napa and Sonoma now through the end of fall.
If you are one […]

In the Service of Our Obsessions


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
It might be the case that I just dont appreciate beer. Perhaps the nuances and complexities of even the better brews are lost on me. But thats ok because in my case I have wine to provide my body and soul with that unique cerebral and sensual experience that alone or, even better, […]

Online Wine Sales & The End of Western Civilization


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
Four or five years ago, in the midst of the political and legal battles over the direct shipment of wine, you would occasionally hear of a “sting” operation in which some government organization — usually in league with wine wholesalers — would demonstrate that minors could obtain alcohol by mail.
Each instance was […]


If you are reading these words, chances are you are either in the Food and Wine industry or you have extraordinary interest in wine as an avocation. Either way, you are one of a growing number of people who have found the New Wine Media.
Whether or not you are excited about this rush of new […]

ZINFANDEL…America’s Wine


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
No matter what the politicians say on the matter, there is no debating the fact that Zinfandel IS “America’s Wine”. Those who make Chardonnay or Syrah may not like this fact, but their discontent doesn’t make the fact go away.
Because our country is the very definition of diversity and conglomeration, there are really […]

The Maturing of American Wine


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
Ok…I’m going to geek out on you here. But stay with me, particularly if your interest in wine goes beyond the buzz and the taste.
The vast amount of wine scholarship — I’m talking real scholarly work, not ratings — is done in the area of chemical analysis and biology. This makes sense. While […]

How I Got In the Wine Business — and How You Can


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
There is a certain type of wine lover for whom the simple enjoyment of the beverage just isnt enough. They need to be closer to the wine. They want to work in the wine business. For the fortunate ones, this means buying their way in by purchasing a vineyard, a winery or other […]

A Day Without Wine Ratings


By Tom Wark
Fermentation
What would happen if there were a day without any wine ratings?
Imagine walking into a wine store, supermarket, any store and finding in the wine section no little “shelf talkers” touting the wines’ 90-point scores from The Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, Wine Enthusiast, etc. Could the consumer survive? Would the wine industry survive? […]