Vol. ^ No. 4 Waiting for Godot

What a way to end the week…on a Thursday no less! Will it be a Good Friday tomorrow? At least there is no risk of the market tanking tomorrow after a lackluster day today. In light of this, TB thought it might be a good time to share his, and some thoughts of others he knows, both professionally and justly concerned friends on their feelings on the markets.

Nobody is diving back in: TB was heavily in cash before the virus broke out due to not liking the market. No one he knows was anywhere near fully invested. In a rout cash is king and as far as he knows nob.

Despite the pundits who think that new highs imply a bull market, Ed Easterling of Crestmont Research (which TB highly recommends and it is free: www.crestmontresearch.com .There is more information there than you will find anywhere else on the Web…have been using it for more than a decade. It is possible to be in a secular bull market inside a secular BEAR market and this secular bear began in 2000!

This is the third or fourth of these events since 1929 and the secular bear can last as long 20 years!  TB hasn’t believed in the rally since the night of the 2016 election. Why? First, much of the rally was done through stock buybacks and much of that with loans. That is what pushed P/E’s to nosebleed levels  At the beginning of the selloff, the average p/e of the S&P500 was 25x, contrast that with the long term average of 15x, or over 60%. That understates it however given p/e’s of the mega-caps that overweight the index.  Not to pick on Amazon (AMZN) but despite the selloff it remains at a p/e multiple of 89x earnings. Wait, how can that happen? First, look at the forward p/e which is 51x – moving in the right direction and from their move to the PEG rate (p/e/growth rate), which is 2.74x projected earnings. Therein lies the rub: projected . Companies haven’t revised down their estimates yet but it is safe to say the earnings will be significantly lower than projected for most if not all stocks, given COVAD-17. Worse, we have no idea what the outcome will be but people TB talks to and those he hears on Bloomberg, etc. are not projecting anything close to what it was. Furthermore, new companies that have significant sales growth may not be making a profit but it is projected to make these stocks priced right…but will it come to fruition. Look what happened to AirBnB this week. Still not public they went to investors and asked for $1 billion in loans…the rate 10%+! This is not the time to borrow from a venture capitalist unless you can’t do it elsewhere….consider how they have been burned over the past month or so!

The point is: if you decide to enter the water, wade in slowly, diversify your stocks and instead of buying round lots, buy 50, 25, even 10 shares depending on price…and hope you are right! Remember most brokerages led by Schwab in the race to zero fees, so a round lot for a small investor is a luxury and there is no penalty for trading odd-lot shares…not even in price!  Maintain at a minimum, 75% cash.

Remember we are in uncharted territory and every aspect of our lives could potentially change as it has now and in ways we haven’t imagined. God Bless the United States of America…and the world!

Now on to a more pleasant topic: WINE

Wine, as TB discussed yesterday, is arising from the ashes of weakening demand along with hard alcohol and beeeer (as SOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh proclaimed at his confirmation hearings). Already, warnings are being issued about the increased consumption of alcohol and effect on the body, especially the heart. Go easy!

Along with Constellation Brands, and Gallo, which were discussed yesterday, Treasury Wine Estates is the next largest company. The big guys mentioned first are trying to reduce their $10 and under wines, while TWE is going to sell off its premier holding: Penfelds, a famed Australian vintner. With shifting demographics , and now the virus, it is difficult to determine which will prove to be the right strategy.

Stay tuned and don’t let your cellar go untouched but don’t run out of wine either.  Well, with tomorrow being Good Friday, TB is going to take the weekend off….hope you can find something fun to do too.


©traderbillonwine.com 2020

Vol. 6 No. 3 I’ll have a Corona; hold the virus!

Readers note: this combines both my former market blog and resurrects my wine blog. The opinions expressed are my own and disregard any you don’t agree with. Thank you for reading!


I’ll have a Corona…hold the virus!

Another day, another boring press conference. Don’t know what happened to Trump in the last 24 hours but his press conference was awful. He stumbled through his notes, blamed the WHO for the failure to warn us (?), and then threatened to withdraw our support. All this while spouting disinformation on the number of tests completed. The station I was listening to (CBS) cut out to there scheduled programming before it was even over…a relief for TB who was starting to feel like HE had the virus! Too harsh? TB doesn’t think so! This the same day that his “Acting” Secretary of the Navy, Modly, who TB discussed in yesterday’s column, resigned rather than be fired, making him the second Secretary of the Navy to do so, the other following Trump’s tantrum about the Navy SEAL who was convicted, and then overturned by the Dumpster…oops, Trumpster.

So how did the markets fare? Uh, not well even with a continuation of the VIX decline, albeit modest. They started out strong, following a rally in the overnight markets that was fading, reversed the slippage and then made a U-shaped top, sliding into the close. Oops!

Which stocks did the worst? How about any stock that has been in favor but still lacks positive earnings? This was especially true in internet stocks like information technology. Negative earnings, even with positive growth combined with high or infinite multiples were losers along with real estate and lodging stocks, which like their companion REITS opened up, then caved all the way into the close, ending with modest gains but still within inches of their 52 week lows. Anyone hear a fat lady singing? Not TB!

Early on we heard that AirBnB had secured $1 billion in funding…later we learned that they had to pay 10%+ for it! Ouch! Can’t blame the VC’s though as they have been handed their lunch by the market. No way TB would consider staying in one even after the virus has passed not knowing how much cleaning was done. Only a gambler would touch the travel and leisure industry here.

How about Warren?…Buffett that is? The Oracle of Omaha is going to have problems, yet everyone keeps turning to him for advice. I’ll give him integrity based on my prior experience. When TB left his old firm to start his own RIA business he decided to reallocate his 401(k). Never having the timing right, he had never owned Berkshire Hathaway so it was one of the first stocks he bought…seemed safe enough. The year was 2004 and unbeknownst to TB Warren decide to place a $1 billion bet against the dollar! When this was announced, after the stock had tumbled, TB decided the Oracle’s run had ended like so many other ‘gurus’ in TB’s 45 year career. To his credit, in his yearend letter, Buffett praised every one of his managers for hitting their marks but that it was his bet that cost them money. Wasn’t it Warren who said, “if you can’t explain to me in five minutes why I should buy a stock, I won’t”? Guess he didn’t try to explain his reasons for making a $1 billion bet against the dollar. Since then however the stock has performed well but anything could have since March 2009, right? Till recently that is! TB bought it in March at $63 and sold out in November at $56 and remember that BRK doesn’t pay dividends

Just last week it was announced that he was pumping money into Occidental Petroleum whose stock has imploded since the Russians slashed the price of oil. Good money after bad? Time will tell.

Okay, here’s your choice: AirBnB or OXY…choose carefully and wisely…TB? He’ll just avoid both!


Size isn’t Everything

Who knows who the top two wine companies in the world are? Hint; the first is private, the other is publicly held and both are in California!

Gallo is the largest wine company in the world and still family owned. Their premium brand, named Gallo because that was the only way Gina Gallo’s dad would fund it, has proven to be a success. They are far and away the biggest wine producer in the world and provided quality in whichever price range their wines were in. TB used to say, “dollar for dollar Gallo is the best wine in the world.” You may not like it but in each category they appeal to their market.

Number two is Constellation Brands which appeared on the scene in 2004 when it bought out Robert Mondavi winery! The question was who were they? Nobody knew of them but their one and only ‘brand’ at that time was My Wild Irish Rose, a hit with the skid row denizens. To their credit it has been a success story although it has peaked. But here’s the thing: they have been selling off many of their brands and guess who is the big buyer? GALLO!!!

Recently, TB learned that Constellation (STZ not STD) is in talks to purchase Gallo! Now think about that for a minute: they sold many of their brands to the Gallo’s and now are buying them back. Smart?

Despite the success of STZ stock, in 2017 they made an investment in Canopy, a Canadian cannabis company, and the largest in the sector. Subsequently, all the hype turned into a huge glut of marijuana in the market and STZ had invested $190 million in the company for a 9.9% stake! Then they added an additional $4 billion a year ago. They are now trying to buy Canopy outright and produce cannibus infused drinks and now are considering medical marijuana…er cannabis! You see, even though marijuana is legal in most states in the U.S. it is not legal at the federal level. The exception would be medical cannibus.

Will buying Gallo be a success or a loser? Will buying Canopy be just a way to cover their mistake in investing in the company in the first place? Time will tell…always does!

Here are a few of the wines TB has been sampling while being a shut-in”

Epicuro 2015 Nero d’Avola available exclusively at Trader Joe’s for the princely price of $4.99 and to TB the best value under $10 and it doesn’t taste like it is in that price range.

San Felice, Chianti Classico, 2016, one of TB’s favorite small towns in Tuscany and a beautiful one to the southeast of Sienna.

Domaine Romy, Veilles Vignes, Les Pierres Dorëess 2017, fine single-vineyard Gamay from sourhtern Burgundy.

Turch Syrah, 2006! From Santa Barbara County.Passo Robles. I forgot about this wine and opened it thinking it was way over the hill…it was still fantastic! Can’t find the winery anymore, just Torch?


Vol. 6 No. 2 The Morning after the Night Before

Market Update (wine follows)

TB hopes that this will not become like so many New Years resolutions and fade after a week or so as it is a good exercise for him and hope you find it useful too. As promised, today will combine economy/market news with wine industry news and thoughts of the author. Here goes:

Yesterday, the markets had a strong rally, up about 6%, and based on the overnight markets which are up 2% now, but down from 4%+ earlier, we should have a continuation today. But what is of utmost importance/concern is that it closes up again today. Why? Because Monday’s strength only took us back to a week ago, before last Tuesday’s (3/31) gap down and collapse.

Since the selloff began, the VIX (options volatility index) surged from the low to mid-20’s (to simplify meaning 4:1 calls than puts) to the mid 80’s – a total reversal! Last Friday was options expiration and a triple witching (stock market index futures, stock market index options, and stock options), thus producing enormous volatility. Overall, the market did quite well  in the first test of an expiry at end of a quarter! Note that the 31st was last Tuesday and a bad day for stocks but better than it could have been.

Sri Kumar, of his eponymous global strategies group, in Santa Monica, CA. was on Bloomberg this morning and I always listen to him. He does not see the rally as sustainable, and the risk is now that people believe a bottom is in, which Kumar feels is too early. Contrast this to the great financial crisis of 2008-09, when the market bottomed on implementation of the bailouts that were only accomplished under the Obama Administration, whereas under Bush 43, who wasn’t proactive enough to push a GOP Congress to act. Thus beginning on March 9, 2009 a rally ensued, continued relentlessly until February 2, 2020! Heed! (note: in case you think TB is a guru, he missed most of the rally and went to mostly cash when Trump was elected. Note on the night of the election the overseas markets tanked along with U.S. futures but after selling off early in Wednesday’s session, resumed the rally…ugh!

Bush 43 also left running the government to the Cheney/Rumsfeld duo that Bush 41 loathed and tried to warn his son about to no avail. The duo convinced Congress into invading Iraq in what was supposed to be an ‘in and out’ operation and that convinced the Democrats who had voted against (and were proven wrong), to vote for it…to his credit Bernie nixed it. The result was the destruction of the first balanced budget in over a decade under Clinton (like him or not), and the beginning of the monstrous deficits we are running today…along with THREE tax cuts that gave most of the benefit to the wealthiest Americans thus widening the wealth gap. Note too, that we were promised they would only go into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. These lies along with the one Colin Powell was forced to give to the UN that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD), have put us in the longest and most costly wars in our nations history. Think what that could have done for the economy, especially with the infrastructure spending that economists were calling for, and no, Trump’s ‘Wall” does not constitute infrastructure spending!

But I digress…TB is a fiscal conservative, former Republican but can’t call himself a Democrat however that is how he will vote unless and until both parties come to their senses…along with 70% of American voters who are split evenly and both sides are wrong (IMHO). Extremism is not sexy…or useful. On a personal note, we are in the process of selling our beautiful  condo home of nine years on Lake Minnetonka. We listed it just before the crisis and rather than be under the stress of living there with prospective buyers coming on short notice, moved to a beautiful luxury apartment in nearby Edina, MN. This puts us closer to our kids and grandkids! Would have been nice if we had decided on this earlier, but ya never know, do you?


As promised yesterday, TB’s thoughts on the state of the wine industry which was already having issues prior to the virus, and is having mixed impacts since. Here goes:

  • First, the tariffs imposed on Euro countries who make parts for the Airbus (go figure on the relationship to wine), have impacts that are muted so far but have far-reaching implications:
    • the tariffs imposed were on all wines from some countries but limited from others such as Italy where only red wine with alcohol above 14.5% are subject…huh? Meanwhile, all French wines are with the U.S. being the top importer along with China,
    • one might think this would be a boon to U.S. winemakers, and you would be wrong. First, we are working off supplies of affected wines, and importers are reducing their markup on imports to offset the impact of the tariffs, thus no benefit to American producers…at least so far,
    • any benefit to luxury American winemakers is muted as demand hasn’t shifted (at least not yet), and worse, the Trump tariffs on China have increased the ones by the Chinese, thus drastically reducing the demand from China and TB is now being told that this has shifted foreign sales to South Korea which is not as strong a market, however.
  • Please note that tariffs are never a good idea: first, it isn’t the producer who pays it (except eventually in demand), but the CONSUMER..i.e. Americans! It causes enormous dislocations and now that we have the virus, shipping is being curtailed as dock space is limited and finding healthy crews is an increasing problem. No good will come from this.
    • speaking of crews, the actions of the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, are inexcusable! First, he is a graduate of both Georgetown University (bet the Jesuits aren’t proud), second he is a former naval officer (helicopter pilot), and while criticizing Captain Brett Crozier, not just publicly but before the crew that respected him for his going out on a limb for them and the safety of the ship. Modly should be FIRED, just like his predecessor , who was fired for his handling of the Navy SEAL courts martial, and more importantly going against Trump, so Modly acted preemptively…and STUPIDLY. This from TB, a former Navy man.
  • There has been a ‘run’ on wine and hard liquor at stores due to fears of quarantine. This means that at least for one go round, retailers will have to restock. On a recent Sunday morning, a local wine shop TB buys from opened up and the first sale was $900 worth of assorted wines. The good news here is being offset by the slack in buying wine from restaurants who need to move that inventory due to the high carrying costs (note that they pay more than a retailer for wine)
    • some have asked states to allow them to sell cocktails and wine in bottles, but not hard liquor, to go. One innovative method is to take advantage of the law which allows purchased bottle leftovers to be taken home – perhaps take a little out of the bottle and recork it to go on demand? Hmmm. TB likes that idea and it should be allowed for the duration of the epidemic,
    • meanwhile wineries are concentrating on improving cashflow and reducing inventory in anticipation of the bottling and release of the new vintage by reducing price, offering free or $1 shipping, and even selling library wines, and donating all or part of the profit to efforts to eradicate the virus…very commendable…and wise!
  • TB is not sure where the big liquior retailers led by Total Wines & More, end up out of this. Both wineries and retailers are experimenting with virtual wine tastings…huh? How can you do this virtually There are two methods:
    • first, a somm or wine rep, or a wine lover can announce a virtual tasting where she describes the wines to be tasted, discusses them, and then goes through a tasting of them either blind or not. TB thinks there is little interest in this,
    • one idea that is gaining traction is to create a list of wines to be tasted virtually, either by a winery (their label) or a retailer who prepares a list of the wines to be tasted and allows time for those interested to pick up the wines and participate. One problem: let’s say there are six wines: what do you do with the leftovers?
      • you can drink all six bottles over the next couple of days ,or
      • you can drink them all and awake with an enormous hangover, or
      • pour them down the drain, especially if you don’t like them (not for TB!)

You decide, in the end YOU are the only one that matters, as always!

Best to all of you, and thanks for reading…if you are still with me.


©traderbillonwine.com, 2020

Vol. 6 No.1 Armageddon – out of the ashes

Note: This is the first of TB’s blogs for 2020. That wasn’t his intention but a lot has been happening personally. First, we decided to sell our condo in Dec. 2019, and have moved to a beautiful, luxury apartment, in Edina, MN. Of course, we will miss our lakeside home of the past nine years but there were several reasons for the move. We are only 20 minutes away so we will be there frequently.

Until 2019, TB had another website here (traderbill.com) but as a result of his retirement is no longer active. We are in a great crisis, one that not only affects the wine industry but everything in our lives, so, rather than re-opening the financial blog, both will be here as the financial markets affect every aspect of the wine business as with everything we do!

This first blog is about how we got here, and begins with the financial markets. The next will add in observations TB has made of various sectors of the economy. TB welcomes any and all comments.

Thanks for reading and hope you find it useful,


TB is not a seer…or a genius… but for his own sanity he is resurrecting Trader Bill and perhaps creating a dialogue with his friends and former followers (not in the disciple sense…just following the blog!). Whatever it takes to get us through this crisis, one of the worst mankind has endured…and as the late Walter Cronkite used to say, “you are there.”

Crisis, panic, fear, lack of consistent leadership, denial, and loathing are just some of the adjectives that have crossed old TB’s mind. No, this isn’t his first rodeo, and perhaps that is why he, as a former bond geek for 45 years – yes, back in the last century. When he was in San Francisco, he loved going to hear Ed Yardeni speak. Ed would open up with some of the above adjectives and then gaze around the room silently. Then, a slight smile would emerge and he would say, “now that we have identified where all the bond guys are seated (they were the only ones smiling), we can begin.” Followed by laughter of course.

I bring this up as I have always admired Ed’s thinking. He only made one wrong call that I can recall: doom following y2k! But was he wrong…or did he act as a stimulus to thinkers to solve the problem?

You see, Dr. (not Mister) Ed’s premise was based on computers and the degree to which businesses used COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language), developed in 1959 and based on the work of Grace Hopper. TB is old enough that in a finance class he took at UCLA in 1969, he can recall putting data, punching it in to IBM cards , stacking them , and feeding them into the hopper for input into a mainframe somewhere on the campus. Due to storage and ease of programming the year was simply two digits with the first two ‘19’ already in the computer. It was probably assumed (remember assume makes an ass of u and me!), that long before the year 2000, a new system would be in place but it wasn’t and thousands of COBOL programmers would be obsolete.

Soooo…back to Dr. Ed. He produced scenarios for different industries and one of them was railroads where all scheduling and locating of rail cars was done on computer. Where would those cars be on 1/1/2000? Lost, that’s where, and the entire economy would come to a halt due to this and other forms of commerce…including banking, stock exchanges, etc.

So was Ed wrong? No, but he underestimated (or did he bring it to their attention), that business would rehire thousands of COBOL programmers to take on the gargantuan job of fixing the coding. TB knows this because Kim Fawcett, wife of his partner in bonds, was recalled, and told  him about it. Unfortunately for them, they were let go again after solving the problem. They were heroes – except for Dr. Ed and his followers as y2k came without a hitch…globally, as far as we know. It is even entirely possible that Ed’s proclamation of the problem saved the global economy trillions of dollars. Ed’s  insightful thinking is still available at yardeniresearch.com.

In the mid-19‘70’s, small (computer) calculators came onto the scene. One of the most significant was Compucorp’s (later acquired by Monroe) Bond Trader and selling for around $1,500! This eliminated calculating bond prices by hand using a Basis Book, but was extremely time consuming. It meant when bids were due on a new bond offering, the data fed into the computer and could be stale due to an unexpected event…a Fed rate cut for example. By the way, COBOL-based computers are still in use today, primarily in the banking system and other areas finance such as insurance.

By the early 1980’s Microsoft had proposed to IBM that they combine and make small computers, but in what was perhaps the biggest blunder IBM ever made, the Bill Gates/Paul Allen proposal was rejected, and shortly thereafter Steve Jobs introduced the Apple computer which by no means was portable, but could be used on a desktop…the rest is history. How many desktops made by Microsoft or Apple are there today (although Apple now makes laptops and tablets exclusively) vs mainframe computers? How many, Watson? By the way, the first Apple desktop was auctioned off in 2014 for $905,000 and others are now in the $500,000 range…that for a clunky, slow by today’s standards, computing system?

The point is that the world was incapable of preventing the Bubonic Plague, and of preventing the Spanish Flu of 1917, but was able to ‘react to’ and limit the effects of the Hong Kong Flu and all the subsequent ones (while not curing Ebola, limiting its spread)– until now – to limit the effects thanks to inoculations. Even those are hit or miss, however, as scientists try to predict which strain will be the prevalent one each year. In 2020, they missed but still lessened the effects, and may even safe lives from COVID-19 – one can hope, that’s all we have but remember the phrase: “there are no atheists in foxholes.”

Lastly, as a Rotarian, TB became aware of the extent to which Bill Gates. whose father was a Rotarian, has teamed up to eradicate Polio nearly worldwide. TB can’t help but think of the damage that has been done by people – especially American politicians and evangelicals who have shunned science, many for their own benefit, to try to make vaccinations voluntary throughout the U.S., a pity. Today, even as the price of oil implodes, President Trump is relaxing emissions requirements for automakers? What kind of wisdom is that?  Beats the hell out of TB, as well as why 40% of so of American voters still approve him. (NOTE: that is the last political comment TB will be making in this series except as it pertains to markets and the overall economy.

Tomorrow: thoughts on the markets (finally!)

Thanks for reading and God Bless Dr. Fauci,

Trader Bill

©Traderbill.com 2020



My remembrance of 9/11/01 – a day of infamy

At 9:06am EDT on 9/11/01, the first plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I had come into the office early on the West Coast and a trader said that a plane had flown into the North Tower. I said it had to be a private plane as no planes are allowed to fly over Manhattan. She had heard from Cantor Fitzgeralds’s office in L.A. and that it definitely was a commercial jet. In disbelief, I switched my screen to Bloomberg TV. Almost immediately, I saw the second plane bank and come around and into the South Tower. It was horrifying and mesmerizing.

Later, we heard about the Pennsylvania crash thanks to the heroics of a few passengers, and then the one that hit the Pentagon. It was a horrifying day. I watched a trading screen go blank and a woman who covered me from the firm was not heard from for two weeks. Unlike Cantor, on the 102nd floor, that lost 658 people that day, TradeWeb lost none due to being lower in the building and a manager who told them to leave immediately. She said she could see the building from her apartment and it was a beautiful day which ended with her walking home across the Brooklyn Bridge with the WTC behind her. Every morning she had to look at the rubble of a once beautiful skyline. She was suffering from PTSD.

Last Sunday, I heard a man saying he and his family were on the way to Windows On The World for breakfast and close to going in the building. He could hardly finish his statement.  Last year, I had breakfast with Kevin Zraly who managed WOTW. He was late to work that day and arrived shortly after the plane struck. He was in charge of the wine cellar and is one of the most knowledgeable people I know on wine. He suffered PTSD from his guilt that all of his employees died that day and he should have been with them. It took years of therapy during which he couldn’t even look at a glass of wine. He is better now but still has flashbacks.

This is one of the events I remember vividly. I also remember JFK’s assassination, then watching Jack Ruby assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald while in custody, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. Some things just stick with you…sadly.

Make the most of each day…it might be your last!

Trader Bill

Copyright 9/11/19

He is not dead but sleepeth

First, my sincere apologies to my readers (honk, if you’re still here!), for my lack of writing. A lot has been going on and I have been focusing on my book project, Wine and Passion. The book is not so much a wine book as a look at the passion of the winemakers I  have met over the past five centuries…oops, decades! I would hope that people consider them rather than the critics ratings but that is up to you, dear reader.

I also must admit to writer’s block and the evil: procrastination. But there was one more event that sidetracked me from mid-July to late August: our 50th anniversary (yes, it coincides with my serious interest in wine!), which consisted of a 5,000 mile driving trip to Portland (mostly along Hwy 12: the Lewis and Clark Trail; then down to Southern Oregon where, along the way we drove right through a forest fire on I-5, halfway to Jacksonville; then down to Reno where we lived for five years in the late 70’s and early ’80’s. Hot August Nights, the largest street car show in the country was going on! From there we drove to Lake Tahoe and stayed at a friends place at Fallen Leaf Lake, at the southern end of Tahoe. There we celebrated our 50th along with most of our relatives.

Driving back we drove across Nevada on I-80 stopping at Wells. We had planned on staying in Wendover on the Utah border but room rates were $200-300 a night! In Wendover? You have to be kidding, right? Wrong, it was the beginning of Bonneville Speed Week, so we stayed in a very nice ’50’s style motel in beautiful downtown Wells.

The next day we stopped at Bonneville then drove across the beautiful mountains of Utah and finally stopped in Gillette, Wyoming, and after a long 700 mile drive home to Excelsior, MN, on beautiful Lake Minnetonka, the next day. Four days and three nights out and three days and two nights home.

Our drive on scenic Hwy 12, the only road maintained by several states that is funded by the federal government, reminded us of how we have lost something in an era of 70-80 mile speed limits on the interstate where the goal is simply to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. Think about that the next time you take a trip and take at least a few side roads.

Finally, what wine did we have for our 50th? First, I brought over a case of wine with us but the gem was a magnum of Bonny Doon 2012 Le Cigare Volante by my friend and one who will be featured in the book, Randall Grahm, one of the great California winemakers! It was fantastic and enjoyed by all.

Well, tomorrow is 9/11 and I will have a different kind of column for it.

Until then, go drink some wine!

Trader Bill

Copyright, September 10, 2019