- The Underground Wine Letter - http://www.undergroundwineletter.com -


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The year 2011 is all but gone. The New Year 2012 is the road ahead. This will be the beginning of our third year as an on line publication and the 33rd year since the first Underground debuted.  I would like to take a moment here at the outset to thank all of you who have joined the on line Underground to pursue the wine road ahead. Also, I would like to encourage you to please pass along the Underground articles to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. It is easy. All you have to do is click the button and enter the email address. The wine road is never ending as we are always learning and it is also a lot of fun. That’s a win/win!

The Underground’s goal is to provide accurate wine commentary as honestly and simply as it can be presented. Also, we want to de-mystify wine and present it in the context of another food group. And, I am very proud of the experienced and extremely knowledgeable group of people who are affiliated with the Underground. (To view our mission and the people and  biographies click here [2])

A large part of what we are doing is speaking out as an advocate of the consumer. It is, in fact, a consumer Bill of Rights. Here is how the wine consumer’s Bill of Rights is viewed from the Underground:

The Wine Consumer’s Bill of Rights


All of the above items would be a great value to the consumer in a search for knowledge. The Underground will continue to advocate anything that will help the consumer. Please continue to be with us in this journey and, again, please pass the Underground on to your friends. But, most importantly, along the way, let’s be sure to “Drink What We Like & Like What We Drink” and let’s have lots of fun!


From the Wine Road:

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2011 Highlights & The Road Past

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Continuing many of the themes that were established in 2010, the Underground forged ahead in 2011. And, just as that year was ending I received a notice from CFALA (CFA Society of Los Angeles). I am a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and have been since 1976. In the old days the meetings consisted mostly of presentations of individual public companies. Today the schedule is more varied with economists, market technicians and analysts, portfolio managers, discussions of debt and equity investments in the US and around the world and also “alternative” investments such as fine art, commodities, real estate, etc. Well, guess who’s coming in early 2012? If you guessed wine you would be right. Speaking will be a new company (founded 2009) called The Wine Trust. The two principals have working experience dating from 1993 and 1995 mostly in investment banking with stints in private equity and consulting. One is mentioned as having developed “a passion for wine”. The idea of the company is to invest in “Investment Grade Wine”. I won’t go there now, but I have touched a bit on it in the past and I will have a lot more to say about that concept as we continue down the wine road. However, just as a parting observation as we leave 2011, consider an article in the 12/29/2011 edition of Barrons. It stated that two of the indexes tracking fine wine were down 9.4% and 4.9% in 2011. (US equity markets were basically flat, foreign equity markets mostly down, the US bond market up, and art markets up around 10%).

While wine recommendations are the major focus of the Underground, the focus on the wine consumer leads to much more than just individual wine recommendations. My 2011 commentary focused on wine trends, pricing, anomalies, absurdities, and consumer recommendations. These are highlighted in the following articles published in 2011:


These articles followed on the trends established in 2010 which were highlighted by the following articles:

2012 Forecast & The Road Ahead

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So with those highlights as background what does the future hold? That’s a good question and a question that no one, in fact, can answer. But, that doesn’t stop us humans from continuing to joust at windmills. So being a member of the human race (based on my last check up) and remembering my good friend Ed Lazarus’s sage advice “God hates a coward”, here are my Underground prognostications for 2012:




So with this information and $2 you can get a bottle of “2 buck chuck”. But, if you do, remember there is always The Blending Game!
In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson