Why wine club owners are getting tired of waiting for the next ‘big thing’
Posted On June 21, 2021
Red wine clubs and other wine lovers are growing weary of waiting to hear about a big thing.
They say they’re getting tired with the wait.
They also are growing frustrated with the lack of action.
The Wine Club Association of America, or WCAAA, says its members have waited more than a year for the National Wine and Spirit Wholesaleers Association to give the association a stamp of approval for the new wine and spirits industry.
The WCAIA said it has spent more than $1 million on lobbying efforts, including lobbying in Washington, D.C., state capitals and local government offices, to make sure the industry gets its stamp of support.
The association also spent $1.2 million to get the stamp of endorsement from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which has approved the industry’s first-ever liquor license in Maryland.
The stamp of stamp approval will be sent to industry representatives in December, WCAAAA said in a statement.
WCAOA president Bob O’Neill said in the statement that he hopes that “some of the money we’ve spent on lobbying will be redirected to help win new jobs, build a better system for consumers and grow the industry.”
The WMA said in its response that it has no comment on the matter.
“The WCA, the WMAAA and their members are working hard to bring the industry into the 21st century,” said WMA President and CEO Mark Kallman.
“However, it’s important to understand that there are other stakeholders that are working to ensure that our wine industry continues to thrive, including the public.”
The American Beverage Association, the nation’s largest wine and liquor trade association, has not responded to The Post’s requests for comment.
The Association’s president and CEO, Mike DeMello, told The Post in a recent interview that “we are in a position to give a stamp to the industry, but we have to be flexible and willing to listen to all stakeholders.”
He said the group would be open to listening to “all the stakeholders” to determine what needs to be done next.
“It’s a bit like a lottery,” he said.
But, ultimately, we’re all working to make the industry better.” “
There’s no one right way to do it.
But, ultimately, we’re all working to make the industry better.”
O’Donnell, who founded the WCAHA in 2007, said he has been waiting for an official stamp from the WTA for two years.
“I’ve been waiting two years to hear back,” he told The Washington Times.
“If we get it, I’m happy.”
He added that there is a lot of work to be accomplished before the industry has the stamp.
He said he thinks the industry is ready to start with a consumer-driven, craft-style approach.
The industry has not yet submitted the required regulatory documents to the WGA and the National Alcohol Tobacco Tax Coalition, a government agency, said spokesman Dan Bouchard.
Bouchad said he was not aware of the latest efforts to push for the stamp from industry members.
The group, which includes several other wine and alcohol interests, also wants the government to approve the sale of wine in grocery stores and bars.
But Bouchart said the WHA would like to see the process streamlined so that the industry could submit more paperwork to the government.
“Our industry needs to have the stamp right now,” he wrote in an email.
“As you can imagine, this process can take several years.”
In the meantime, wine clubs are struggling.
WMA has been working to expand and enhance its membership base in Washington state and beyond.
The membership is now more than 3 million strong, according to the association.
That’s up from fewer than 200,000 in 2006.
“We’re growing very rapidly,” O’Connell said.
In the last two years, the number of members in the state has grown by about 5 percent, according the WDAIA.
“In our industry, we’ve grown to be the largest in the country,” said Bouchards partner, Kevin Dyer, of the Wine Club in Washington.
“And we’ve had our own success.
We’ve got our own wine.”
The association has made some moves to build its membership, including offering a $500 annual membership fee for members and a $200 annual membership premium for new members.
But its growth is not uniform, as its membership has grown in other states, including California, Florida and Illinois.
For now, the membership numbers in Washington are much lower than the membership in other parts of the country, including states like Colorado, New York and Massachusetts.
In Washington, the association’s membership has surpassed 2 million members.
It currently has more than 5 million members, which is a bit less than half of the national total, said O’Leary.
But he said that Washington is the only state in which the WLAAA has not expanded its membership.