Good Morning Gentle Readers,
There has been a remarkable shift in American attitudes about the role of the federal government in the ninety some years since the 18th Amendment was ratified. In 1919, there was no question that simply outlawing alcohol was unconstitutional and that banning demon rum would require a constitutional amendment.
Family lore holds that along about 1921 my Grandma's fiance was machine gunned to death in a firefight with the Fibbies at the Canadian border. It would be another dozen years before importing intoxicating liquors from Canada would no longer carry the prospect of an informal death sentence.
Prohibition decimated the wine industry in California, pushing the evolution of high quality wines out for a half century and changing forever our cultural views toward alcohol. With the end of a legal market for wine, many wineries collapsed, finding it impossible to stay in the red (heh) selling sacramental wine. Others replanted wine grapes with juice grapes that resulted in a glut of low quality grapes that far outlasted the demise of Prohibition.
Some growers, like the Mondavis, shipped Zinfandel grapes back east to Italian Catholics who were permitted to make their own wine for sacramental purposes. Guys like Ernest & Julio Gallo hooked up with the Chicago mob to sell wine made in clandestine wineries in Central California.
That's H. L. Mencken celebrating the end of Prohibition.
To your health!
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