Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Distributors - The Protectorate of Our Youth

Its interesting what you can find when you're looking for something else....

Lately the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America ( has been touting the three-tier system as a deterrent for underage drinking. Odd that in 1992 (before the internet posed a "threat" to their cartel) they didn't seem to think that underage drinking was really a concern.......

"Editor-at-Large, Philip Hiaring, Sr., reports in the February 1992 edition of Wines & Vines that DISCUS (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States) is quoting government statistics to refute the belief that underage drinking is out of control. This is the kind of propaganda that is needed to throw at the DRYS. By that I mean using solid statistics to lay low the erroneous statements used by the opposition."

"...By that I mean using solid statistics to lay low the erroneous statements used by the opposition..." - let's see if that comes back to bite them in the ass.....

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - A good start

Been looking through and although I like the simplicity of it (a wine either tastes good or bad) I'm not sure I like the "interview" that attempts to correlate my taste in coffee, snack foods, and beer with suitable wines. Frankly, I like lots of different wines, even (gasp!) dry pink wines chilled during the summer.

I resent such simplistic approaches to marketing wines, you can't just pigeon-hole people into convenient types of drinkers (dry red, blush, dry white, sweet white, etc) as it not only limits their potential exposure to other wines, it also limits the industry. Let's try a holistic look at wine as a beverage rather than continuing to proliferate the concept of ranking consumers into their respective groups. Perish the thought that I might like to try some Grüner Veltliner or an Amarone tonight.......

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Something's Rotten In Oakville

In a presentation to Bank of America Mondavi CEO Greg Evans outlined how the company's proposed divestment (divestiture?) of its luxury assets, including the flagship Napa brand will make the resulting company sing. Evans also noted that they expected to net $500M after taxes on the divestment.

The fly in the ointment is that when you actually crunch some of the numbers beyond what's presented, you get some odd results. According to Evans (who used to be CFO and understands numbers pretty well) the luxury portfolio contributes 19% of the revenue, 17% of the Earnings
Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) and 14% of the Earnings before taxes and Depreciation (EBIT).

Given that, we can break out financial results as follows :

Revenues$379M$89M $468M
EBITDA $78M $16M $ 94M
EBIT $53M $8.6M $ 62M

We can then apply MOND's financial results above to the company's overall value as follows:

Market Cap = $638M
Debt = $382M
Total = $1 billion

Therefore, the overall company is valued at the following multiples of the financial results above:

Revenues $1 billion / $468M = 2.1x
EBITDA $1 billion / $ 94M = 10.6x
EBIT $1 billion / $ 62M = 16.1x

Extrapolating these values to the results of just the Luxury division, we get:

Revenues 2.1 x $89M = $187M
EBITDA 10.6 x $16M = $170M
EBIT 16.1 x $8.6M = $138M (low from the large amounts of depreciation in the luxury division).

Even given the highest end of the range, this falls well short of the $500M (after tax!) Evans believes they will get for the luxury portfolio. Perhaps if you assume that MOND is undervalued by 30% or so, you might get these ranges up to as high as $250M, but that is sill well below the range Evans is expecting......Something smells and its not Brett..............

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Gallo/Turning Leaf Story

Some may remember that in the 1990's, Gallo started its Turning Leaf brand:

Turning Leaf

They were promptly sued by Jess Jackson who was attempting to protect his Kendall-Jackson label, claiming that Turning Leaf was an attempt to pawn off the product as K-J's:


Now, just about everyone in the wine industry has been sued by Jess at one time or another (in the Bonny Doon parody "Vinquirer" there was a great story "Jess Jackson Sues Own Badass Self"), but that's not the focus of this story.

Ever notice that all of the big brands in the supermarket are right at eye level? That's not by accident. You see, an acquaintance of mine worked for Gallo at the time as a field sales rep. Now sales reps would do the dirty work in the marketplace that the sales people didn't want to do (often for fear of losing their job because of the quasi-illegal nature of what the work sometimes entailed). Much of this work entailed "helping" to restock the shelves at night and making sure that your products were where you wanted them.

This individual, whom we'll call Joe, worked in the San Jose area. His job (among other things) was to go into the grocery stores late at night when the restocking was being done and take all of the Turning Leaf off of the shelf, move the other bottles near K-J and then put the TL bottles right next to the K-J bottles! Of course, this was completely illegal, but the practice was generally tolerated by store management as it actually served to keep the wine stock current and neat. Naturally, K-J detested this side-by-side display, so they sent in their own sales reps to put the TL as far as possible from the K-J.

The problem, however, was that the Gallo reps had nearly a 2:1 bodycount to the K-J staff and could afford to cover more stores. This began to wear on the K-J staff as they were unable to keep up with the changes being made by the Gallo reps and complaints to management fell on deaf ears. Gallo reps were always driven to keep their stores current, because legend had it that if Ernest came into your store, even at nearly 90 years of age, he'd get down on his knees and start moving bottles around.....needless to say, you didn't want that to happen.

Toward the end of the saga, Joe remembers coming into a store at some ungodly hour and seeing the K-J sales rep just leaving through the back door. He nodded to her and after seeing who he was, she began to cry, realizing that he was about to undo all of the work that she had just done. K-J sales reps turnover was pretty high......

Eventually, K-J lost the suit to Gallo and the practice of reworking the shelves became less tolerated. Jess Jackson found other people to sue and Gallo went back to dominating the wine universe like an 800lb gorilla.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Has there been a 'Sea Change' in Wine Pricing?

With a global oversupply that goes into yet another harvest, there are signs that California may soon see some relief in grape pricing. Interestingly, however, the oversupply is drying up the fastest in the interior valley (where the cheaper wines are produced). This is largely because a significant number of vineyards have been ripped out for other crops, but it may also be telling of a worldwide trend. In California, Napa and Sonoma wines are having their asses handed to them by "value wines" - Two-buck Chuck, Smoking Loon, Rex Goliath, Leaping Horse, etc. Gallo, through their ownership of Louis Martini, is paying ~$1,500 per ton for Napa Cabernet grapes right now. Using the 1% rule (retail/bottle is generally 1% of grape $/ton) that equates to a $15 bottle of Napa Cabernet! There is still a sea of overproduction of Napa Cabernet and it is quite possible that the prices may actually fall as consumers continue to look for value.

The average US wine consumer, you see, is not brand loyal, doesn't understand the appellation concept, and cares little beyond price and varietal (something the Aussies figured out years ago and the French are still struggling with). In a survey of wine consumers done a few years ago, consumers were asked to name several appellations. The first named was Napa, but the second most-commonly named was "Mondavi" (I kid you not, never underestimate the ignorance of the wine consumer and their reluctance to climb the wine learning curve). Concepts like vintage wine, varietal labeling requirements, oak use, etc. are lost on 99% of wine consumers!

The problems of the French, below the first growth or two, have been well documented. Their inability to move wine in large volumes given their archaic labeling system makes their entire business model shaky. What hasn't really hit the wine press yet is that the Aussies are slowing down as well, at least above $7-8 retail. The growth of, in particular, Black Swan and [yellow tail] has come largely at the expense of wines in the next price tier. In fact, Australian export data shows that the average price per liter of Australian exports fell significantly in 2003 and continues to fall in 2004. Even Lindeman's and Rosemount have been undercut!

Spanish wines are all the rage, particularly for their value. Even $2 Portuguese wines are available on the East Coast. Australia has passed France in cases exported to the US and will likely catch Italy next year for the #1 position.

What does it all mean? Is it a short-term blip as people buckle down in an uncertain economy or have wine economics made a permanent shift down the price ladder? Is this why Mondavi is splitting off their "luxury" lines, because they can see continued problems at the high end? Stay tuned......

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Article on Industry Consolidation

The following article on industry consolidation is credited to, which is ordinarily a very well-respected commentator on the global drinks market:

"Meanwhile, Britain's largest independent wine importer, marketer and distributor, Western Wines, is the most recent prize for North America's largest producer of wine and related products, Vincor International. "
------------------------ a word, no. Vincor, while a very large producer, is Canada's largest producer. Canada, for those without at Atlas, is actually a subset of North America. Perhaps they meant to write "the largest producer of wine North of America"
"and it is possible that...Kendall-Jackson will become the target of a hostile takeover bid"
A hostile takeover? Of a family-owned company? How would one do that, by buying out their bank? Reminds me of the Monty Python hostile-takeover pirate sketch where they fire volleys of file drawers from their office windows into the firm they're taking over....
"Euromonitor International expects Bacardi to focus more heavily on broadening its spirits portfolio, following a stock market flotation, thereby making a divestment of its wine business a more probable scenario."
um, okay. If you consider Martini & Rossi Vermouth and Asti to be a "wine portolio" I guess I won't quibble with that, but I will guffaw, perhaps chortle, and certainly snicker at it.
"An Anglo-French alliance between Allied Domecq and Pernod Ricard would fill substantial gaps in both wine portfolios, giving Allied Domecq a key Australian brand (Jacob's Creek) and Pernod Ricard an important Californian brand (Callaway Coastal),"
"Callaway Coastal" and "important" should not be used in the same sentence unless one were to say: "It is important for Allied Domecq to rid itself of the Callawy Coastal brand". The Temecula Appellation has had little - if any - importance in the recent California wine industry, and is really nothing more than a historical curiosity. Why keep a winery in an appellation which doesn't sell outside of itself? Callaway should've been sold off back in the mid 90's when there was a possibility that any winery would sell well due to the demand for product. Any sale now would come with a huge drop in value after the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter decimated the area like Locusts.
"Other potential targets also expected to be at the centre of the merger and acquisition stage in 2004-2005 include California winery Robert Mondavi and family-owned Australian producer, Casella Wines, owner of the successful Yellow Tail brand."
Mondavi, sure, that's a softball given what they've publicly announced. Obviously everything is in play for them. Yellow Tail, however is not completely family-owned. The label is 50% owned by its importer, WJ Deutsch & Sons, who aren't going to let go of this license to print money any time soon.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

At Least There Wasn't a Fist Fight This Time.....

Michael Mondavi has announced that he, like his father before him, is leaving the family business. Although the press release suggests a much more amicable separation that the previous generation, Michael is leaving because of continued differences with his brother, Tim, as to how the company's wines should be made and sold. (For the record, Michael is more of a HJWOW, "give the consumer what they want" type of guy whereas Tim is more of a "make great wines and the world will find a path to your door" kind of guy).

In related news, as noted
here three weeks ago, the Robert Mondavi Corporation announced today that they are "divesting" themselves of their luxury brands (i.e. everything above $10 retail) to focus on Woodbridge, RM Private Selection, and new brands like Papio (yes, Papio the one with the monkeys playing musical instruments...sigh...if you can't originate, imitate I guess).

What's interesting is that RMC publicly announced their intent to sell brands. This is unprecedented as wineries typically avoid this type of publicity for for that their distributors will ignore their brands, expecting the new buyer to move them to a new wholesale house. Its possible that this announcement is a result of Sarbanes-Oxley, but a quick look at the website reveals that it is far too boring for the HJWOW to research....

The result of all of this is that the family will be buying back the Napa brands (unless the Peter Mondavi family (CK-Mondavi) outbids them! Wouldn't that be a battle for the ages!), but will be selling their 50% share of Opus One to the Rothchilds to pay for it! This is a good strategic move as the bloom is off the rose for Opus. They've been using 100% Opus grapes (not using RMC's Oakville fruit) for a few years now and their scores and wine quality show it. The Opus vineyards are planted near the Napa river in deep soil, with a high water table and have tremendous vigor problems and spotty quality. Good time to get out.

Obviously, this will develop over the coming weeks and will certainly continue to be worth watching......stay tuned.

"Tradition" sometimes sucks...

Interesting article in the Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Ca) on Tuesday 9/14 :

Link to Article

I almost can't believe my eyes! Yikes!!
Is that really Jean Charles Boisset, son of Burgundy's most powerful wine family, former WS cover boy, suspended in a Gimp harness, nearly naked, over a vat of Pinot?!?

Indeed it is....I think I'm swearing off DeLoach products forever...(pardon me while I go puke...)

Perhaps their new label will be "Burgundy Bidet".

Interesting, though, in that it touts the "traditional" way of treading the grapes to break them open in the tank (an operation usually referred to as "crushing/destemming"). It's NOT recommended after the onset of fermentation due to the production of CO2 by the vats (meaning you can die from asphyxiation) when you stir up the pomace.

So why do this? Pro's of this argument:

  1. minimal expense outlay for pumps, or punchdown equipment
  2. it gets your picture in the local paper for the winery you just bought out of Chapter 11
  3. you can argue that it's gentle to the grapes
  4. automatic recognition from 'traditionalists' that you do things the 'old fashioned way' (a fallacy implying that any time saving device compromises the quality of the product)

Con's :

  1. bad press (pun intended) for those consumers who can think of millions of reasons not to buy your product (body sweat, bacteria, body hair [ewwww! - and he does look hairy!])
  2. let's face it - French culture isn't known for it's fastidious personal hygiene ('french culture' that's got a new meaning now!)
  3. BIDETs are commercially available for those who wish to partake of them. Perhaps he'll use one after he uses that vat for the same purposes...
  4. I suppose they'll claim that the wine was a 'natural' fermentation (God knows what type of yeast it is/was...see 'French culture' quip above)
  5. it's hard to 'decontaminate' the human body (sanitize it), and I can see quite quickly that any bad microorganisms (e.g. Acetobacter, Lactobacillis, and the dreaded Brettanomyces) could rapidly be spread through your entire facility
  6. It'd take, like, forever, to get through your daily workload...
  7. ...what about yeast infections?...Eeeewwww!
  8. ...and finally, it gives your critics full reign to call your wines 'shitty'.

Yikes, indeed!

The Chalone Buyout Finally Gets Interesting

Although it has been the least interesting buyout to date, Chalone has been granted yet another extension of the buyout offer from Constellation, Huneeus, and Domaines Barons de Rothchild:

Where it gets interesting is that rumor has it that Sam Bronfman is putting together a rival bid. Who's Sam Bronfman? Google him for more information, but briefly, his family got its start bootlegging in the 1920's and eventually "went legit" and formed Seagram's, once the world's largest distilled spirits company with extensive wine interests based in Napa (not to mention their huge music business). The wine and spirits businesses were sold off to Diageo and Pernod Ricard in 2001. The Bronfman's have also become easy targets for cheap shots because of their Jewish heritage, background as rumrunners, involvement with alcohol, opposition to downloading music, etc. Also, like a grown Lindbergh baby, Sam was involved in a mysterious kidnapping in the 1970's. All told, this could become very interesting......

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Power of Retailers

(Part 1 in a series of I don't know how many yet about the three-tier distribution system and related issues).

During an exchange with Alder on
Vinography, I realized that I had rather poorly made a point about the value of distributors (something few people in the direct-shipping battle want to recognize) and that I really should have pointed out the the value of a distributor is that they provide fewer suppliers to a retailer. Larger supermarkets probably have 400 alcoholic products from 300 producers and don't want to deal with 300 (or more) deliveries per month. Thus, the value of dealing with a small handful of distributors is tremendous if you are a mid-sized winery looking to get into the chain markets. You can "tag along" with the regular shipment from your wholesaler to a retailer who otherwise would be happy to only deal with the big players. Further, it underscores the power that retailers currently have in the market as they are really the bottleneck, pun intended, in the supply chain and do they ever know it!

When I go into my local Safeway, it appears that roughly 50% of the wines have a "club card" sale tag. A club card sale allows a brand to lower its price to the consumer without a permanent price drop. This is important because it gives them price flexibility - a permanent price drop would be prohibitive as the retailer wouldn't be as receptive to a return to that price level, they would view that as a price increase. This way, if you want to return to the previous price, just drop the club card deal.

For example, if your $16 Chardonnay isn't moving and your competitors have dropped to $14, you continue to invoice at $8 (50% of the $16 retail), but pay $2 for every bottle that scans through for a net to you of $6 and a net scan price of $14. The alternative, a drop to a wholesale price of $7 (50% of scan price of $14) is actually less costly, but usually viewed as more damaging to the brand in the long run. Confused? Aren't we all....

Here's the kicker though - Safeway doesn't spend a dime on this program, they turn around and immediately invoice the winery for every $2 off price scan (sometimes the wholesaler kicks in too). It makes the retailer look like the good guy, looking out for your family's budget, when really they're just applying the thumbscrews to the winery. But, if you're a producer of any size (say over 100,000 cases) you have to have some significant off-sale business (liquor stores, grocery stores, drug stores, etc.) in order to survive. That's where they get you.

You see, there are over 6,000 domestic and 4,500 imported wines that are distributed on some sort of national scale!!! With over 10,000 products clamoring to get into each retail outlet, even the biggest retailers can't offer more than a small percentage of the total. Thus, the bottleneck. Retailers started picking up on this fact when brand offerings really expanded in the 1990's and started quietly enforcing various "pay to play" programs either from the wholesaler or from the winery. Beringer coughs up the dough for one type of program or another because they fear losing shelf space to Mondavi. These guys have pretty deep pockets, but if you're not Beringer, Mondavi, Sutter Home, Gallo, Wine Group, Constellation, Diageo, Franzia, or Allied Domecq you can't afford to "promote" your wine at the retail level like they can. The result? Less shelf space for the smaller, family-owned wineries. How many of Bonny Doon's roughly 25 national offerings do you see on your shelf? Probably only 2 or 3. How many from Gallo? Probably 20 or more, including the Stealth Gallo brands.

Ultimately, this will lead to a real bifurcation in the market. You will have the big producers listed above in chain markets and the family-owned wineries will stick to direct sales via the web, their mailing list, their tasting room, and whatever local markets they can get into. You won't have any Bogles, Wentes, Bonny Doons, Rodney Strongs in Supermarkets anymore unless they sell to the big guys.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Of TCA, Tempests and Teapots - Chateau Montelena's "Cellar Funk"

Another good article by Carol Emert, this one on the TCA contamination at Montelena:

When Jim Laube (rhymes with Snobby) "outed" BV in 2002, he did it with all the journalistic aplomb of someone who was out to protect the consumer from a evil corporation out to foist sub-standard, third world products on an unsuspecting consumer. He tasted a few BV wines during his reviews, found them to be "corked" and send them in for testing to a lab. They came back with TCA levels at a threshhold that could be tasted by some (Laube has a very low tolerance/threshhold for TCA) but not by the VAST majority of consumers. As a result, BV's sales slumped over 20% in the months followed the announcement by Wine Spectator.

Sales decreases were a reaction by the trade (wholesalers and retailers) to the negative publicity in Wine Spectator. Consumers don't read WS in any significant numbers, so the slowdown in sales was directly a result of wholesalers' concerns over the WS story. However, since 90% of consumers cannot taste TCA below 5 parts per trillion (ppt), why is WS destroying a brand's reputation for levels of TCA that averaged 2.7 ppt? BV had no unusual problems with consumer complaints, yet the "watchdog" of the industry went after them for a problem that didn't exist for 90% of consumers.

Then, WS did it again. They "outed" Gallo Sonoma in 2003 causing a huge cleanup of a problem that may not have been a real problem.

Now, they're doing it again to Montelena. What service are they providing? Selling copies or serving the consumer?

This reminds me of a consumer report gone bad: "There's a dangerous consumer product that kills thousands of Americans each year and you might have one in your own backyard. Details on the swimming pool crisis at 11"

Friday, September 03, 2004

The continuing absurdity of food and wine pairing

Another great article by Carol Emert at the SF chronicle reminded me of yet another wine-related pet peeve, wine and food pairings:

While I appreciate that wine & food writers need things to write about, and that food pairings are a good fallback, the sheer lack of imagination and rampant traditionalism is galling. Yes, we all love red wine with steak, that's like apple pie and baseball, but the problem is that these notions only contribute to consumer's confusion and reinforce wine’s reputation as a beverage with a steep learning curve….."am I supposed to have Chardonnay with this or Sauvignon Blanc? Maybe I'll just have iced tea". The result is that more people are intimidated and shy away from the beverage.

No need to be confused, no need to memorize the "proper" pairings. People, drink what you like! If you don't like white wine, then go ahead an order that Pinot with your fish. Chances are they’'l taste great anyway and you won’t have to go "wineless". Robert Mondavi has long advocated that people simply "drink what they like and like what they drink". Don't make it complicated, don't worry what your waiter thinks, order what you like!

Last week, Mrs. Johnson and I were eating at a hoity-toity wine country bistro and I ordered a bottle of Ferrari-Carano Sauvignon Blanc with my steak (it was hot, we were eating outside, and red just didn’t sound good). How was it? It was fabulous, once I squeezed a little lemon on the steak. It balanced the acidity of the wine and made it taste great, even with the SB. I simply ignored the shocked onlookers at the adjacent tables.

Speaking of lemons, there are those who believe that any food can be paired with any wine so long as you balance your food by adding the right amount of lemon and salt. Google Umami for more information and DRINK WHAT YOU LIKE!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Winemakers who put Zinfandel in French Oak - A call for public hangings

At first, this may seem like a lark. Well, why wouldn't U.S. winemakers use French Oak (FO) or American Oak (AO) barrels or some mix in making Zinfandel. Hhhhhmmm, let's go to Bordeaux (choose your bank) or Burgundy or the Rhone and see how many French winemakers are using American Oak. Oh, that's right, there aren't any (well, it is rumored a few do, but the number found would probably be less than 1 in 10,000). Now, we could go onto Robert Parker's flunkies and sycophants message board ( and post the topic (In fact, please do, see the flaming you get from the Francophiles for suggesting AO is appropriate to making of any French wine).

(A little known, or acknowledged, historical note is that before WWI the French were using Hungarian oak, and it was considered quite superior [Hmmm...perhaps France was trying to ride on Tokay's reputation?]. After WWI, Hungarian oak was much harder to find, and the French switched to FO, for both availability and monetary reasons, not to mention 'prestige'.)

If you go that route you will get some pretty poorly researched information on the differences between FO and AO, predominantly mentioning wood grain size. Don't want to go into too much useless detail but AO generally has a higher degree of sugars (available hemicelluoses, celluoses, tyloses, etc.) than FO. Sugars are carmelized during 'toasting' the barrel, the more sugars, the more flavor intensity impact on the wine. Lots of fun chemistry stuff I could go into but the 'toasting regimen' that you choose has a great deal of impact on what flavors, and the intensity thereof, the wood imparts to the wine. By varying the amount of these barrels in the wine, winemakers can tailor the impact of oak in any finished wine to their desired level. They can control the amount of 'toasty', sweet, vanilla, 'oaky', tannic, almond, and 'smoky' components the consumer will experience.

AO's reputation as 'brash' and 'overly intense' is due in part to the early days (70's & early 80's) of the American cooperages. Prior to this, the coopers were primarily making whiskey barrels, in which the staves are used green (un-aged, e.g. you could make a barrel from a tree the same day you cut it down) and the barrel gets the living bejeezus burnt out of it.

Oak for wine barrels need to be aged or 'weathered', and in the early days one was lucky to find wood that was 12 months old! (Currently staves are aged up to 40 months! With ~24 months being a bare minimum.) This produced tannic charred barrels, not really suitable for wine.

The American coopers have persevered however, and have honed their skills - in many ways surpassing the French in their adaptability & ingenuity. Both their ability to toast, and age wood can match the talents of the French coopers. Our technology is well beyond theirs already.

Back to the point, Zinfandel deserves AO, nay calls for AO. Winemakers who put Zinfandel in FO deserve to be dragged into the street and flayed alive, broken on the wheel, drawn and quartered, roasted on a pyre of French oak staves! The French, the Francophiles, and the Robert Parker loons have for years decried Zinfandel as the lowliest of non-Noble grape varieties (Remind me to go into why this perception of nobility of vine is the root, pun intended, of the ubiquitous pretentions in the wine making and drinking communities and why this is part of the reason for France’s wine troubles today). They used to say it was just an uncouth American varietal on the lines of Green Hungarian, in the last few years they have criticized it as high alcohol fruit bomb wine. Using AO for Zinfandel is akin to a second French revolution - throw those Royalist snobs back whence they came! Storm the Bastille!!

Ohhhh of course, why have wine that tastes like it came from FRUIT. Bacchus forbid. The very idea is lowbrow. Bring forth the Haut Brion and let us have no more talk of such things as fruit and flavor. Back to that rant later - but certainly Zinfandel can be our flagship against this armada of fruitless wine.

Zinfandel cries to be aged in American Oak. At the risk of sounding like the Wine Popes minions, to use FO, regardless of the toast regimen, to age Zinfandel is sacrilege! Let us cast the deceivers into the abyss and call for Zinfandel for all, American oaked, or death.