Vol. 2 No. 29 Ignore my comments on alcohol removed wine!

Friends, I have to put this out, truly the last edition for 2016. The FRE wine I mentioned in the last missive is horrible. I spent the time since writing about it to research it and finally tried it last night! It is going back to the store!

Here is how alcohol removed wine is made: first, it starts out just like regular wine but then they use a tower cone, developed by the Aussie’s to remove the alcohol. The tower is about 20 feet high and the wine enters at the top and percolates down. As it moves it has a centrifuge effect so that the alcohol is extracted. This I thought was brilliant. Wouldn’t you think that if it started as 12% alcohol, they would merely have 88% as an end product. No, and here is where the Trinchero’s come in. Ever hear of White Zinfandel, an oxymoron as zin is a red grape with red juice? But Sutter Home found a way to pull the skins immediately and end up with a blush wine…most certainly not white (Beringer produced one called Eye of the Swan).

However, not satisfied with 88% of the wine, rather than add more alcohol removed wine they simply add grape juice instead…yes, unfermented grape juice. The result is neither fish nor fowl but something that tasted awful (foul?) to me. I tried a Red Blend, Merlot, and the Brut I mentioned. Frankly, they are not even worth the $5.50, so all are going back. It was sweet and velvety from the sugar (unfermented) in the finished (?) product, and definitely not potable wine. Well, I am finished at least with it. Mea culpa for recommending this plonk…not even alcoholic plonk at that! At least with plonk you can at least still get a buzz on which dulls the brain to the awful taste.

The question is: why, after going through the entire fermentation process plus adding an expensive step didn’t they simply add more of the alcohol removed wine? My hunch is it would have at least been palatable. One can hope.

Have a happy new year but don’t lose control of your brain…unless at least you are in your own home and not going to ruin someone else’s new year…and perhaps your own.




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How did Trader Bill originate? It was conceived by me as a way of providing information summaries of global financial markets so that friends and associates could bring themselves up to speed on events and changing market conditions upon their arrival at work. In addition, it provides information on speakers and economic releases that day with consensus estimates and level of last release so that the reader is prepared to react, or knows how the market might react upon the release of information. Who is Trader Bill? Initially any reference to me was as ‘i’. This is to remove the aura of ego and to suggest that i am but a humble reporter, albeit with 35 years of investment experience. Investments are demanding of ego, however, or one would not feel that he was qualified to manage someone else’s money in the first instance. Therefore i needed an ‘alter-ego’. Like Winchell and Mahoney, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and especially Trader Vic and Mai Tai’s! Why Trader Vic? Because he was a likeable man who delivered pleasure to his customers and knew exactly what their desires were. The reason for the alter ego became obvious once I introduced Trader Bill into my commentaries: people started asking what Trader Bill thought. They had never asked me what I thought before, but suddenly they wanted to know what TB thought! Now mind you they KNEW that I was Trader Bill but for some reason he became bigger than life. Maybe it was the small ‘I’? What does Trader Bill try to do?His goal is to educate from his years of experience. Consider that most of the traders and people managing investments weren’t even around in 1987 for the crash! Consider that Graham and Dodd, and even Warren Buffet are not relevant to them, too old hat. Their historical perceptions of markets and fundamentals (earnings, price/earnings ratios, bonds, debt service coverage) are irrelevant in this fast moving world. This is the NEW ECONOMY, or is it? How did your style originate?Years ago i found that i had a knack and talent for writing. In addition, i developed an ability to analyze market news about 15 years ago. It took the Crash of ‘87. Prior to that i was just listening to what others said about the economy. But bond yields had been soaring in ‘87 yet the stock market just kept hitting new highs. That was when i began to learn about markets. i have both a dry and witty sense of humor (some call it inane!). Therefore i attempt to make even the worst news somewhat amusing: whether it is the absurdity of an economic release, or the comments of a CEO. This is trading desk humor (or gallows humor). It isn’t politically correct but it does ease tension. Ironically, it is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (in the Navy they say: it’s always darkest before it’s pitch black!), that allows you to be more objective in your analysis, as bad as a situation is there will still be a tomorrow! You will see that i practice three-dot journalism, a style made famous by San Francisco reporter Herb Caen, whom i idolized. At least to me it is effective. What is so special about your analysis?Frankly, i don’t know that it is special, but at least it beats “the market closed down today on profit taking.” What i do know is that most of what you read is spat out without considering whether or not it is rational, like the above statement. Is it right? Sometimes yes and sometimes no, and that is the key to what is different about my analysis: it is meant to make you think. Is Dan Rather right or is Trader Bill right? If it causes you to stop and think about it, regardless of whether you agree, i win! Because THAT is my goal…not to have you think i am a guru, got that? Bet you never heard that ANYWHERE before in my business! Instead they want you to think just how smart they are but remember in this business if you are right 60% of the time you ARE a genius! Another thing that is different is when i am wrong on an analysis i will tell you, not hope you forget what i said. So now you have the tools to do what the speculators and hedge funds do: challenge authority, and if you make money it is because YOU did it not me. i was just a tool, your flunky to do the grunt work and let you decide…course you could be wrong too but at least you looked at the big picture. But the goal is also to have fun! This shouldn’t be a business of hushed tones and grim faces. It is a living, breathing thing and nowhere else in the world do you have the odds as much in your favor as here. Just beware of the guy who wants to put his arm around you and tell you he is your friend. So there you have it. I hope you select me as one of your sources for market information. If you do I promise to work my best for your financial success. Trader Bill

2 thoughts on “Vol. 2 No. 29 Ignore my comments on alcohol removed wine!”

  1. Bonjour Bill and Happy New Year, thank you for your comment on non-alcoholic wine; I bought a bottle of a non-alcoholic French Chardonnay a while back; I was in a rush didn’t realize that I bought non-alcoholized wined until I got home; I ended up donating it to the wineos who hang out near the park in the center of town, they were very appreciative and thanked me; I went about my business but passed by them again about an hour later; I asked “ça va?” (how’s it going?) they smiled and gave me a thumbs up.


    1. Thank you, Stephen! You may have unwittingly come up with a new, improved de-tox program…first, it gets them off the alcohol without knowing it, then like the programs they will grow to hate it.


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