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That's one man's opinion, albeit a man who casts a rather large shadow. But, says Heimoff, besides Soter and winemakers like him (and despite Rosenblum's claim), "I know there's a huge consumer backlash -- you read about it everywhere. It's on the blogs...We just have to figure out..." Heimoff pauses. "I was going to say, 'We have to figure out what to do about it,' but that's a meaningless statement. What I mean is, every individual winemaker has to figure it out. Put yourself in Justin Smith's shoes at Saxum, where I believe that just about every wine is over 15 percent. What's his motive to change? If my memory serves, he set a record at their last auction. These are complicated questions. It's easy enough for me to sit here and take potshots at the high-alcohol people. I don't have to sell those wines. My mortgage isn't riding on that. So I don't know where, collectively, 'we' go."

More on the book next week.

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