Wednesday, April 1, 2009


April Fool's Day. Strange that this is the day that Under The Grape Tree turns 1. Honestly we should consider ourselves a miracle, largely due to my enormous powers of procrastination and the externally tugging gods of distraction. It's so easy for me to become disenfranchised with a project that I often find myself rebelling against the very concept I was championing just a few weeks ago.

But alas, it's been one year ago to the day that we started out under the tree and we are still going strong. I want to thank everyone who has tuned in to read what often times crazy things we (more often than most I) have to say. It's easy to become so impassioned by this business that one can become consumed, and often become the very thing one rails against. Sad but true. Hopefully, my fellow bloggers will rise up to smite me if I become too arrogant or cocksure of myself.

Today, while something to be proud of, is also a reminder the Life plays some pretty cruel jokes on its people. Take our fair state of Kentucky (I use the term "fair" quite loosely). Today marks the first day of a new sales tax on all beer, wine and spirits, instituted by the fiscally-incompetent folks in our state capitol of Frankfurt (Gov. Beshear, you sad bastards in the State House and Senate). The goal of this tax is to compensate for the shortfall that, oddly enough, was created by the inept spending practices of both the Republican and Democratic legislators who we have so gullibly elected over the last, perhaps two to three decades. After failing to generate decent revenue with a 9% wholesale tax, then only within the past 5 years, raising that to 11%, and now concluding that we should be taxing alcohol a total of 17% - one of the highest in the country I might add.


And all for Education and Medicaid right? Except for the dollars going to help expand the Kentucky Speedway so they can attract a NASCAR event, don't forget that.

Oh, and did I mention that only 30 out of 120 counties are paying for this extra tax revenue, because the other 90 counties are still living in the 1920's - they are all DRY counties - no booze (not counting the gov't sponsored bootlegging of course. Oh that's just a rumor, WINK WINK.)

Anyway, I am not going to let the KY legislature take a runny dump on the festivities so, our goals for this coming year are as follows:

1. We will bring you at least a dozen reviews each month.

2. We'll be giving you insight into all things beer with our beer fanatics Brandon, Ray and Matt.

3. More from our new, sole assistant wine buyer, Shannon, on her road into the business of wine.

4. More smarmy, soapbox-y commentary from yours truly.

5. And the addition (in the near-future) of some video commentary and special guests at our stores.

We are looking forward to the coming year of constant changes in this business because, it's the best business to be in - the wine business that is. Where else can you be a wino and get paid for it?


shooting star said...

It is time to stop bitching about the new tax and get on with life already. It is done, live with it.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike said...

Hey...don't forget the cool $31.5 million that John Calipari's getting to lead the Big Blew Nation back to the promised land...

Your tax dollars at work.

k2 said...

Shooting star - yes I should stop bitching, but only after the politicos acknowledge how friggin' wrong they are for doing it. 17% on wine? Aren't you pissed off? Or are you well-off enough that you don't give a shit?

tempestvin said...

It's not a matter of how well off you are, someone once said that knowing the difference about the things you can change demonstrates wisdom. We haven't seen a lot of wisdom in these diatribes about the tax. The politicos are never going to acknowledge they are wrong; they just want our money. Work hard now to be ready for when they come back again. And they will come back. Get it in gear or make the new name for the store read "Whines Direct".

shooting star said...

My point exactly in better form tempestvin.

k2 said...

See, these are the kinds of comments I think every blogger wants. I gotta admit that I've been reduced to sniveling little street urchin, whining about not having this or that. Indeed, the politicians really don't give a shit about what works best or not. They just want their money. The problem is that I have a lot of physical wear-and-tear vested into the retail end of things - a lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into my job, so I do and more than likely will whine about this and other things, simply because it's a part of the job. Easy to get swept up in the fight when it actually matters to you, which comes with the territory. Thanks to both tempestvin and shooting star for the comments and for keeping me in check. Hopefully, now that the threshold has passed I can move on and concentrate on the business at hand. Just keep it comin'.