Jerry Mead Passes Away - Printable Version

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- Bucko - 04-13-2000

Jerry Mead passed away last night from congestive heart failure, complicated by recurrence of lymphoma. A dear friend was lost. Just a few comments from his friends:

From Charlie Olken, Conn. Guide to CA Wine:
Jerry has been a friend to wine drinkers everywhere for 30 years. I was always happy to call him the old guy because he started a few years before me in the wine biz and is a few years older.

We tasted together when he lived here in San Francisco and we had several projects that we worked on together. There can be no doubt that he was one stubborn son of a bitch--and we all loved him for it. You could not be in his presence for more than a few minutes without laughing like crazy and swearing like a sailor at him, and he would do the same back to you, but no political or winetasting or philosophical disagreement ever lasted longer than a
few seconds and then you would be off on another subject, another wine, another topic.

Jerry was a marvellous advocate for our favorite tipple, and he saw and foresaw problems that too many of us accepted as the price for liking a beverage that contains alcohol. Jerry never let us forget that the failure to be vigilant could lead to ever increasing restrictions on wine and a turn back towards Prohibition.

Whether he was right or wrong in his passion for defending his and our vinous pursuits, he was passionate, PASSIONATE.

We will not see his like soon again. And we have lost a valuable ally, and remarkable friend.

From Jim Baxter:
I do not know most of you and I never personally met Jerry. Never-the -less
we were kindred spirits when it came to individual rights and personal freedom. He was the only spokesperson in the entire beverage industry that consistently and fervently supported what I and my organization sought to accomplish. It's like losing a long time friend. My condolences to those of you who had the privilege to actually know and spend time with the

Most sincerely,
Jim Baxter
National Motorists Association

From winemaker Lisa Nelson:
Such sad news...I'm heartsick. I am thankful though, that I had the opportunity to know such a spirited man. He touched my life and
certainly changed my direction within this great industry ~ not to mention the friends I've made through NWIWC over the past five years...

From Bob Hendrick:
I of course never knew Jerry, but having read so many articles written by him both on the internet, and in print, I almost felt that I did. He called himself the curmudgeon, but actually all he did was to speak the truth. And, not just as he saw the truth, but the real thing. Be a little sad for the loss of him, but rejoice for him too. Salute him often with a really great bottle of wine!

Here's to you Jerry, a friend, a mentor, a kindly spirit.......


- misterjive - 04-20-2000

Wine lovers everywhere have lost a mentor and comrade-in-arms. I have long admired Jerry Mead for his work and his palate, and appreciated his thoughtful guidance of the Wineboard. He was a consumer advocate in his written work, a teacher through his internet involvment, and a tireless political activist when it came to fighting against the spread of draconian wine laws. We will all miss Jerry Mead for a long time, and we will all keep his memory alive forever.