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WINE NOTES

A Letter-Writing Grapevine

June 28, 1990|DAN BERGER | TIMES WINE WRITER

The National Wine Coalition, a Washington, D.C., lobbying group representing wineries and grape growers, has asked about 70 wine and grape growing trade associations to urge their members to write Rep. Tom Luken (D-Ohio) opposing the Sensible Advertising and Family Education Act of 1990.

John Volpe, executive director of the coalition, said in his letter that the bill co-sponsored by Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Albert Gore (D-Tenn.) would not address problems associated with alcohol abuse; violates First Amendment rights of commercial free speech; and will have a severe economic impact on the industries.

The Kennedy-Gore legislation would require five rotating warning labels on all alcoholic beverages and also address advertising. Volpe said, however, that because there is no federal preemption in the act, some 6,700 state and local entities around the country could establish different requirements, costing millions to implement.

Federal regulations already mandate a health warning on all packages of alcoholic beverages.

Temperature-controlled lockers for wine storage have been opened in West Los Angeles at the new Los Angeles Fine Arts and Wine Storage Co.

Wine of the Week

1989 Markham Sauvignon Blanc ($7)-- This attractive wine has a melony, almost kiwi fruit aroma, and a delicate citrus hint in the finish, with none of the grassiness associated with the variety. The lush, soft taste comes from aging in French oak and the slightly elevated alcohol (13.3%). Under new owner Sanraku of Japan, Markham has recently undergone some major in-house changes that are now showing up in improved wines, but prices haven't yet moved up. This is excellent value.

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