Good Morning Gentle Readers,
Like that 1958 Sci-Fi thriller, The Blob, the Nanny State oozes ever onward leaving behind an opaque, shimmering, jellyfish-like substance reducing all it has touched to atonal shades of gray. From Tom at Fermentation.....
It appears there is a serious move to force nutritional labels on alcohol bottlings, including wine. It's a Bush Administration proposal that is supported fully by The Center For Science in the Public Interest...the folks who spent time particularly in the 1990s explaining to us all why we will all die very quickly if we eat Movie Theater Popcorn, Alfredo Sauce, and any other food that is not made of pure fiber.
The Bushkies and CSPI, together and happy. Well that's ample enough illustration of the marginal differences among those who scrap like feral dogs to see who gets to make the rules you get to live by. Well, it IS a free country, don't you know?
According to Diageo, one of the largest alcohol beverage companies in the world that supports this initiative, it is a giant and very positive step in the right direction...Overwhelmingly people want this kind of information on the package.
Really? If that's the case why doesn't Diageo provide that information voluntarily. As a large distributer, Diageo could require bottlers and distillers to provide that information as part of the distribution contract. If this isn't empty posturing and the market truly demands the information, providing it would be a smart move. A leg-up on the competition.
But voluntary implementation doesn't come without costs and the real risk of resistance from some bottlers & distillers who could bail to other distributors offering distribution contracts sans labeling clause. Solution: Saddle everyone, industry-wide, with a legal requirement.
Think about the airline industry, groveling to CONgress, begging for an in-flight smoking ban. We all want it, they claimed, because smoking is icky and it dirties up the air circulation systems. Yet, not one single airline was willing to alienate the smoking public by changing policy and not allowing smoking on board its flights.
Assume for the moment that nutritional labeling on wine bottles is a great idea and assume, if you will, that people actually care. Which, based on our reputation as a rather rotund society, is a dubious proposition (apparently, nutritional labels on food are routinely ignored).
We must then ask ourselves why every good idea must become ham-handed law. It's not like the information you want or need isn't available. In fact, Robin Garr's Wine Lover's Page has it right here.
Or maybe we should just drop the pretense that we're all grown-up intelligent adults living in a free country and mandate annual colonoscopies and bran cereal breakfasts for everyone over fifty. Wouldn't that do light years more good for the populace than nutrition labeling on wine bottles?