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Count Bobulescu

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  1. I've been an apprentice wine snob for 40+ years. Never managed to graduate. Suspect cheating by examiners....... An NZ wine judge tries a glass of "natural" PN in a restaurant, doesn't like it, and privately texts the winemaker that she should get another job. She publicices the text and then..... Here are two wine commentators on the matter. Although I've never met him, I consider Tom Wark a friend. We've spoken by phone several times and collaborated on a project. That said, I go with Wine-Searcher on this, even though I'm a fully paid up member of the League of Pear-Shaped men, and white, and old, and......... The comments section on Wark are well worth the read. Commentator vs. commentator. https://fermentationwineblog.com/2020/12/a-sip-of-wine-a-mean-email-a-bad-pr-move-an-ugly-tale/ https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2020/12/wines-problem-with-old-white-men
  2. Just an FYI about the coming 2nd wave. EU had its highest number of new daily cases yesterday, over 100,000. France alone had 26,000. Adjusted for population that equals about 140,000 in the US. Previously, US highest daily number was around 70,000 (I believe).
  3. Now might be a good time to really test the efficacy of Hydroxy Chlor, and bleach, and any number of other possibilities.......
  4. The clothing optional resort in Paw Paw is open with reasonable pricing, and Wi-Fi. A friend told me. https://www.avalon-resort.com/
  5. I had read that part of the motivation for UAE & Bahrain was access to updated US military equipment. You seem to be suggesting otherwise, Israeli tech only? That makes sense insofar as Israel does not appear to have conceded much else. I believe Israel only agreed to a postponement, not cancellation, of some settlement proposals. Can you clarify the US tech issue? Given that Anal Dump has been popular in Israel since day one, new properties in the region would be no surprise.
  6. Consensus seems to be that she was the "safest" choice. Hope this marks the passing of the torch to a younger generation. When she announced her run for Prez, I was Gung Ho for her. By the time she dropped out I had soured, because of her repeated vacillation on policy issues. It's believed she dropped out before any vote was cast, because she was unlikely to win in Ca, which was an early primary. That said, I'll take her any day over the other side.
  7. I definitely would not rely on Total, especially for imported wines. At a guess I'd say 80-90% of their import selection comes via one importer, Saranty. Certainly 100% of their winery direct selections on the three central shelves, plus some above and below. Seems like Saranty is a shell importer. You won't find much info about them online, save that they are affiliated with William Deutch & Co, the nice people who work so hard to bring you Yellow Tail.
  8. First up, I incorrectly attributed the 24/5 timeline to Black Box, it was in fact McKinsey. I was skimming a report on a report. T hat said you make a good point, maybe better than McKinsey, they don't seem to agree with you. They think CRE will recover quickly. See the 2nd exhibit Here .
  9. With the caveat that prediction (especially about the future) is difficult, one of the editors of the Rabo bank quarterly report on the wine industry, recently told a California audience they don't believe the on premise sector will recover to pre Covid levels before the end of 2022. That's the good news. Black Box Intelligence, which researches only the restaurant industry, has a time scale of 2024 to 2025+ depending on how the virus is contained.
  10. Regulations do have the force of law. Law Dictionary One difficulty with converting to statute, is that opponents would look for a sunset clause, and it would be a brave/foolish person who'd commit to a date certain at this point. Raising the price of violating the regs might be an easier way to go, but the violators have already been shut down, which is a significant fine.
  11. As if on cue, from Md's legal newspaper..... Md. businesses, employees caught in the middle on masks Maryland businesses and their employees find themselves increasingly caught in a battle zone, expected to enforce the governor’s order that store customers wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic even as some patrons are bridling at following that order. Employees and managers are having to persuade balking and sometimes angry customers that they need to wear the face coverings, all while avoiding a confrontation or summoning police. (Daily Record)
  12. From a Md political blog. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot....... Probably blew any hopes of a couple of Michelins........ There is more
  13. I know it's bad form to quote yourself, but I'm feeling bad-ass today...... A cold economic eye on food delivery.........The comments section is good too. Bottom line, from the comments, delivery company contracts, like credit card ones, apparently prohibit discriminatory pricing, as between eat in and delivery. I guess gas stations offering different cash & credit prices, does not violate that clause. Here is a NYT article on the same phenomenon, claiming that some apps charge up to 40% of the restaurant's take. My first question is why the restaurants do not charge higher prices for customers using the app. That might be illegal in some localities, but surely that is not the general answer to the question. Rather the restaurants are afraid of losing customer good will -- "what!? I have to pay 30% more just because I bought it with my phone?" In this setting, restaurants are losing potential revenue to avoid a reputational hit, and staying in business (rather than closing up) because they believe the value of their future reputational franchise is high. In other words, in both channels the restaurants perceive the value of their future reputational franchise to be pretty high. That is the good news, although you might wonder how it squares with the generally low returns to running a restaurant. I suspect some restaurants simply know they are good and profitable because they are skilled, and the losers are overconfident and less well-informed. One efficiency advantage of the apps is that they will put the unprofitable restaurants out of business more quickly. The next question is whether some surplus from the profitable restaurants should, in the short run (and maybe in the longer run too?) be redistributed to the app company. The apps should increase the demand for the food from the good restaurants (easier to order and arrange delivery), but lower the profit margin on selling more of that food. If those ingredients and kitchen capacity otherwise would go to complete waste, overall that seems like an acceptable bargain. Kitchens are kept active, which is an efficiency gain, even if some profit is redistributed to the app company. In this scenario, you can think of the app as doing some of the selling, rather than the restaurant doing that selling, and reaping surplus from that effort. In essence, the business of the restaurant has become more specialized, toward pure food production and away from selling, that latter service now being performed by the app company. Restaurants that were great at selling in the first place might be worse off. But it is far from obvious that these apps and their prices should be decreasing efficiency. Some other restaurants might be worse off because it is harder for them to carve up or segment the market, but that change likely is efficiency-enhancing. And if the apps do indeed speed the bankruptcy of the lesser restaurants (presumably what the critics have to believe), over the longer haul prices will indeed go up and the good restaurants will earn back some of what they lost up front. On net, consumers will have better services, better marketing, pay higher prices, and have a better selection of restaurants. That just doesn't sound so terrible, or so necessitating government intervention to cap app prices. Note that informed customers probably need the app least, so they are least likely to see its value, just as "critics" as a class, including restaurant critics, are also least likely to see the value of the app in marketing the restaurants. Of course this class of "critics" are exactly those who are most likely to be writing about the apps.
  14. The chain restaurants proliferate, grocery store wine sucks, and Total Wine is....... No one ever went broke by underestimating the stupidity of the American consumer.......
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