With a blink of the eye the holidays are past, and it is 2009.
And here we are in mid-January, a rough winter for many here in the USA with crazy weather patterns all over the country. Minus 20 degrees F. in parts of the Northeast today while Los Angeles was over 100 degrees warmer, with highs around 88 today.
But this is not a weather report. It is interesting to observe the changes which are taking place at this time. There is no longer any doubt how brutal the economic situation is here in America and many other parts of the world. It makes me laugh to think back just a few short months ago, while one of our Presidential hopefuls was on the stump, telling us that the "fundamentals of the economy are strong." Well at least America finally got one right!
Just a few short days from now, the end of the 'reign of terror' will be over once and for all. The failed policies of the current administration which caused much of the mess we are in today (2 wars, foreclosures, Wall St. scandals, with far less security now than 8 years ago, and ill-will around the world). It will become the legacy of the outgoing President, regardless of how much spin his party tries to create.
We'll see revisionist history and the talking heads undoubtedly pointing the blame at the incoming President who is faced with the most daunting, and monumental challenges of any leader in my lifetime. I am a skeptical optimist and will give our new President all of the respect he deserves and hope that within his first four years, he can somehow manage to "right this ship." I wish him well and god speed!
The economic situation is also affecting the wine business around the globe. Auction lots are going unsold. Many reserves are moving to lower price points, unthinkable even six months ago. The wine bubble has burst and a correction is taking place and it is actually long overdue. I for one am glad to see this. The rampant run up of pricing over the past decade was about as nonsensical as last summers rise in gas prices -- spurred on by speculators that were allowed to profiteer unabated.
So the current reality check is now providing great buying opportunities for some who are fortunate enough to have discretionary income to spend. At the same time, some wine speculators are now taking it in the shorts, or being forced to hold onto their liquid assets in a market that has yet to hit bottom, while others less fortunate, are taking much less profit when they have no choice but to sell.
It is interesting to be able to sit back and observe these dynamics unfolding around us in the political sphere, the markets and with wine. The next three or four months should be very interesting indeed. Make sure you're wearing your seat belt.
Today is my wife's 50th birthday and although she doesn't know it yet, I have purchased a new computer to replace her dinosaur. I'm keeping our 6 year old home from kindergarten today and together we'll decorate the house to surprise Dorene when she walks in the door. She hates surprise parties and this is no time to be throwing a big party anyway. So we'll have a wonderful and quiet wine dinner and birthday celebration at home tonight. I am looking forward to spoiling my wife and watching my daughter's excitement as I took her shopping for the computer, decorations and even the food for this evening's dinner. She knows this is a big deal for her mom and I could feel her pain in keeping the surprise.
One last day of fun and frolic and then we're heading off to NY.