I expected Tuesday night to hear President Obama talk about job creation, clean green energy, taxes, health care, deficit reduction and the need for Americans to be more competitive.
But when Obama, in his state of the union speech, turned to the subject of reorganizing the federal government to reduce excessive bureaucracy, he went fishing.
In a quip that caught many people's attention Obama noted that, "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."
What could be done to ease the layers or red tape that regulate the sales of wine in this country? As it is, vintners must effectively deal with each state as if it were a separate country. The so-called compliance laws are so tricky that most wineries hire experts to navigate the laws as they pertain to shipping, wholesalers, events and so on.
The costs incurred by wineries are substantial and, while we're on the topic, wine is good business. It creates jobs from small startups, which energize the industry, to vineyard management companies, mobile bottling lines, to larger corporations, restaurant chains and retailers. The list goes on and on.
I don't know if it's possible to reorganize the overlapping state and federal bureaucracies or oversight commissions that govern wine in this country, but to do so would certainly help small wineries streamline and simplify their businesses and likely benefit wine drinkers, too.
What would you most like to see changed about our country's wine laws?
Michael Myette — Sacramento, CA USA — January 27, 2011 12:10pm ET
Hoyt Hill Jr — Nashville, TN — January 27, 2011 12:21pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — January 27, 2011 1:25pm ET
Lora Pallatto — San Francisco, CA — January 27, 2011 2:51pm ET
Anthony Miles — Seattle, WA — January 27, 2011 2:52pm ET
Mike Drash — Napa, CA — January 27, 2011 3:00pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — January 27, 2011 3:01pm ET
Louis Robichaux — Highland Village, Texas — January 27, 2011 11:03pm ET
David Rossi — Napa, CA, USA — January 28, 2011 7:57am ET
Doug Badenoch — Bozeman, Montana USA — January 28, 2011 4:09pm ET
Mike Drash — Napa, CA — January 28, 2011 4:44pm ET
James Harding — Macungie, Pa — January 29, 2011 3:28pm ET
Karl Mark — Geneva, IL. — January 30, 2011 8:40am ET
Edward Cooper — San Francisco, CA — January 31, 2011 1:25pm ET
Edward Cooper — San Francisco, CA — January 31, 2011 1:31pm ET
Andrew J Walter — Sacramento, CA — January 31, 2011 1:53pm ET
Gary Lipp — Napa, CA — January 31, 2011 1:55pm ET
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