Caught between the CHP, who want to want to discourage drinking and driving and the winemakers, who are saying they want to prevent limos, vans, and buses from bringing them literally busloads of customers (some a little too tipsy for their tastes; no pun intended), are the wine tourists. Interestingly, the winemakers are now speaking out against their most enthusiastic customers; those who show up in limos, buses, and vans to get their drink on. Gasp! Can you believe that people who choose to travel from other parts of the state to taste wine are, for the most part, actually quite fond of getting drunk? Those that make their living selling fermented grape juice, at a healthy profit per unit sold, are really complaining that these genuinely enthusiastic members of their customer base are showing up by the busload.
It's unbelievable. It seems that winemakers should be happy that their sales are now soaring in the wake of the hit movie Sideways, rather than whining about some of the predictable pitfalls associated with successfully peddling alcohol; an addictive and oft-abused substance. And, considering the findings of a recent study at Caltech, which shows that peoples' taste in wine is highly correlated with price, it would seem that the industry might want to count their blessings. While there are some oenophiles who go to tasting rooms to check out the latest releases and actually speak "intelligently" about them as they swirl tiny amounts of them in their glasses, roll them around their palates for a minute or two only to spit them out, the majority of their sales are to the people who like the sensation created by gulping these alcoholic beverages in copious amounts much more than they enjoy the "complex" flavors associated with them.
It is truly unfortunate that the winemakers, in an effort to uphold their phoney image of catering primarily to the sophisticated connoisseurs, are speaking out so stridently against the best DUI prevention mechanism of all: designated drivers.