Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Retirement Tools - Weep Not, Wine Lots

Common wisdom says that crying is a good way to relieve stress and depression. Weep away all that bad karma and get it out of your system! Turns out, common wisdom may be wrong.
A recent study reported in the Journal of Research in Personality had about 100 women in the Netherlands keep diaries for several months noting their moods and crying habits. The authors found that in 61% of the crying jags, the women felt no better and no worse than before they spilled all those tears. Fewer than one third had improved moods and 9% actually felt worse after letting it all out. An interesting side tidbit was that most of the subjects cried when and where they thought no one else could see them.
If you feel like crying now that you know weeping may not perk you up, I know something that will. Advertising Age just reported some good news about the on-line wine business. Persistence and an accumulation of state legislative changes have sweetened the pot for on-line vino vendors. On July 1, Maryland became the 38th state to allow out-of-state wineries to ship their product into the state. This trend has enabled on-line vendors to attract capital and expand their businesses. posted its first ever profit this fiscal year; it sold 2 millions bottles in the past year. You’ve probably heard of flash mobs. Well, WineShopper is a flash-sale website set up by Its daily emails offer its users discounts of up to 70%. The catch? They’re good for only 72 hours. It’s kind of like Groupon on steroids. A recent special was 1 cent shipping on orders of $99 or more. Specials count down in the web page header, much like an EBay auction. (Ends in 3 hrs 40 min!)
Lot18 has snared $13 million in funding from VCs; it acts as a middleman between wineries and oenophiles. Its wine “curators” select the wines and send out daily email reviews. Their CEO boasts that their site is so popular and their selections so good that some of their choices never even make it to bricks and mortar purveyors.
I think these websites are God’s gift to retirees who like to nestle into their favorite chair and relax with a really good glass of wine. In other words, gifts to me. Now we can even order our wine while we’re nestled in, provided we have a wireless router. Note to self: get one of those when we move to Vermont.
So the next time you’re feeling stressed or depressed, don’t go off by yourself and get weepy. It probably won’t make you feel better anyway. Just go off by yourself and enjoy an excellent bottle of wine. Don’t worry. There’s no more shame in drinking alone than there is in crying alone in some hidden, dark corner.
If you’re like most of us and have a life that’s quite stressful, you’ll plan ahead and have that wine waiting for you when you feel a crying jag coming on. While you’re drinking the one you have in stock, be sure to go online to order a few replacement bottles. But you’d better hurry. That deal on shipping ends soon!

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