Monday, November 12, 2007

The wrath of grapes

The first time I met Kathleen Sebelius I was a cub reporter at a major metropolitan newspaper.

She was making the newspaper circuit in her quest to be elected the Kansas insurance commissioner.

Almost right away, I could tell she was a straight shooter, a breath of fresh, honest air when politicians had become increasingly two-faced and dishonest.

One of the first questions I asked was, why run for insurance commissioner? Is this a stepping stone to higher office?

She answered an honest and emphatic "No!"

You see, she knew there was trouble with insurance in Kansas, what with the skyrocketing premiums on hurricane and earthquake coverage.

Fast forward to the present day, and it is commendable to see Sebelius sticking to her straight-talking nature.

Though she has been pushed unwillingly by her party into the limelight of the Kansas governor's mansion, and forced by her position to attend fundraising events for the campaigns of Democrats in Washington and California, she still manages to keep it real.

The incident reported by the Lawrence Journal World is a great example.

While at a fundraiser for Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, Sebelius pulled no punches when she proclaimed that Kansas wine makers are crap.

The direct quote, according to the Journal World is
"You should be thankful we don’t make wine in Kansas. If you ever see Kansas wine, don’t drink it."
Of course, when you speak the truth, you're bound to upset a few grape carts.
“What it says to grape growers and winemakers in this state is she doesn’t recognize the quality of what’s here,” said Michelle Meyer, co-owner of Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery in Basehor and president of the Kansas Viticulture and Farm Winery Association.
This, of course, is just sour grapes. Sebelius is doing Kansas grape growers a favor by not sugar coating the bad news.

Hey, Kansas is a great state for growing corn, wheat and mullets. But let's face it, we need to leave the fine wine to the likes of California, Washington and Oregon.

I mean, what kind of leader would Sebelius be if she encouraged residents of her state to excel at a pursuit that they obviously have no chance at mastering?

Kathleen, I raise a toast to you.

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  1. ahh...I see what you did there.

  2. I would have never thought Kansas for vino. In truth, yes, leave it to the big boys. I can say that we do have an award winning winery here in Dairyland(see

    You never know...maybe Kansas has some weird little micro climate.

  3. Some of Holy-Field's wine isn't bad. They've even pulled dowm a couple awards. I personally like their Raspberry and Blackberry wines.

    Cristal, it's not. But not too bad for regular day stuff.

  4. I learned years ago from a viticulturist that the Midwest is the perfect climate for grapes and wine. Alas, prohibition set the wine industry in Missouri and other Midwestern states back a long time.

    Cheers (hic).


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