WineAmerica Perspectives

Wine & Shellfish!

This week we got to participate in a tasteful form of lobbying: a Wine & Shellfish Reception for legislators and staff. Along with our colleagues at the Wine Institute who provided California wines, we provided wines from other states including:

  • Black Ankle Vineyards, MD
  • Early Mountain Vineyard, VA
  • Jones Family Farms, CT
  • Lost Oak Winery, TX
  • Prospice Wines, WA
  • Stoller Wine Group, OR
  • Wolffer Estate Vineyards, NY

The East Coast and Pacific Coast Shellfish Associations also partnered on the event, which was held in conjunction with the Congressional Wine Caucus and Congressional Shellfish Caucus. Over 500 enthusiastic wine and seafood lovers packed the Transportation Committee Hearing Room to enjoy the products.

Events like these are not only tasteful (literally!) but also a vivid reminder of how many states benefit from the industries involved—like the $276 billion the wine industry contributed to the American economy in 2022.

Legislators and staff packed the room to enjoy our offerings.

Tara Good and Michael Kaiser serve enthusiastic wine lovers

Michael Kaiser and Tara Good with Melanie Rhinehart, Chief of Staff for Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus

East and West Coast Oysters were a great match for American wines.

Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) with wine from Jones Family Farms, a constituent and WineAmerica member





Competition Corner

And the winner is…

Jon McPherson (third from left, in blue), winemaker at Carter Estate Winery and Resort in Temecula, a WineAmerica member, raises his hand with others for a favored wine in the final “Sweepstakes” round to determine Best of Show at the recent Pacific Rim International Wine Competition in San Bernardino, CA.

Jon and his brother Kim, owner of Texas’s McPherson Cellars Winery, are regular judges in competitions. Serendipitously, at this event the Best Red Wine was the South Coast Winery 2019 Petite Sirah made by…Jon McPherson. And both a Mourvedre and Rose made by Kim took Double Golds as well. The ratings were made by 15 judges tasting all the wines blind. In other words, these are just great wines.

Wine competitions can be a valuable marketing tool, especially for the vast majority of wineries not likely to be featured in the major wine magazines. If you review the awards from this year’s San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles International, and Pacific Rim events, you’ll see lots of winners from states other than California, and varietals other than Chard and Cab.

But if you don’t enter, you can’t win.