Congressional Wine Caucus sips under the radar

The New York Times ran a front-page story on Congressman Mike Thompson recently. Thompson’s district includes Napa and he is also a grape grower; the article made this seem like a conflict of interest. I’d dissect the story and its shortcomings but Mike Steinberger has already done that on his blog, thus saving me the trouble.

The article did remind me of the Congressional Wine Caucus, an informal, bipartisan group of over 200 members of Congress–”the anti-Tea Party” as @sippingsister put it–that Thompson heads. Although most caucuses rarely meet, I placed a call to Thompson’s office (as well as the Wine Institute) requesting the names of the members of the Caucus. My thinking was that these members would presumably be stalwarts in supporting wine consumers and opposing the nefarious HR 1161 if that well-financed bill should ever see the light of day in the chamber. Sadly both responded to say that the list of members is not available to the public. That’s too bad since wine is becoming more popular in congressional districts every year across America as we are now the thirstiest wine country in the world. Also, wine in America is frustratingly intertwined with political machinations. Since it’s not hard to find out who is on, say, the Congressional Bike Caucus or the Congressional Black Caucus, you’d think wine would be no different.

If the membership list ever does surface, I hope there’s no overlap between Caucus members and the 94 cosponsors of HR 1161. That would have more than a whiff of inconsistency.

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4 Responses to “Congressional Wine Caucus sips under the radar”


  1. seems to me these pinheads work for us and we pay ALL the bills so they owe an answer and listing to you. if its a government based group they’re on our clock. if there is a more dishonorable occupation and, i include pimping, than congress someone please let me know. now that i think of it politicians are the living example of the definition of pimp’s: they will do anything for money/votes.


  2. I receive your blog posts by email, and this one came with a so-called poll that clearly shows you can design a poll to make any point you want.

    If you have any control over what ads accompany your emails, please don’t includes ones like this.


  3. Jack –

    Sorry you received an ad you didn’t like. I subscribe to the posts via email and did not see one. In fact, there should not be any ads in the emails (but there are ads in the RSS feed).


  4. Interesting…I used to be a Nation Wine Education Manger for Diageo a few years back and actually did a tasting for the Caucus on Capital Hill!
    Pretty interesting….

    Also did a private tasting for Tom Delay in his office of George De Latour


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