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January 04, 2010

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Craig Perman

Personally, I am very happy to see this tool in place. As noted in the story I'm a fan of this wine, and since I sell it through the proper channels (national importer, three-tiered system) I do have trouble competing on price even in my own market.

There are at least a couple retailers in Chicago that work heavily with grey-marketed wines, and you can find this same wine at a significantly lower cost at their place.

My argument against the grey market has always been the provenance question. It would be great if this traceability search result yielded the importer, date it was shipped and any other information that would help the consumer. For years, importers, wineries, and some retailers have turned a blind eye to all of this, but with technology the way it is, this should not be a problem.

Overall this could solve many problems in the wine business.

There are certain regions in the world where bottling on demand exists, and in the Southern Rhone Valley of France, I can think of producers that have bottled the same vintage of wine 1, 2, 3 or more years apart. Of course the wine was wildly inconsistent. This could be tracked.

Think of Champagne with their Non-Vintage questions, a lot number that could be tracked would be extremely useful.

And back to this case where I could refer consumers to a tracking number like this, and they could then decide that they would rather buy a wine from me that has been transported properly through the right channels, or pay $15 less for something that may have been shipped through three countries.

I ask the wineries and importers of the world to push for this continued look into how we can track wine better. It will benefit everyone in the long run!

Best wishes,
Craig Perman

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