Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wine Whine

My HoCo blogging brethren have been weighing in on the latest developments in the direct shipment of wine issue lately. 53 Beers on Tap wrote that the “Maryland Wineries Association LOVES this report, giving it a 9.5 out of 10.”

Sarah cautions that this issue is far from settled and that we should “stay tuned, I suppose, for further developments”

HoCo Rising sees a glass half full in the Comptroller Peter Franchots recently released report pointing out that “the consumer options have only been marginally expanded.”

I agree with Tom. The Comptroller appears reluctant to encourage any further marginalization of Maryland's three-tier system of liquor distribution. The Comptroller still doesn’t want us to be able to buy alcohol from an out of state retailer. According to this story by Scott Calvert in The Sun, “the report frowned on the idea of letting out-of-state retailers — as opposed to wineries — ship wine directly to consumers.”

At a news conference in Annapolis, Franchot said, "It's crucial to the passage of this bill that we not open up all of our wonderful Maryland retail establishments to just incredibly aggressive marketing by out-of-state retailers that are undercutting them on price. That is not a good component."

That is just so wrong. Why can’t our retailers use this as an opportunity to build a larger business for themselves?

The hero of Scott Calverts story is Mitch Pressman, owner of Chesapeake Wine Company. Mitch welcomes competition.

"While a lot of retailers are afraid of the competition, I welcome the competition," Pressman said. "More availability creates more interest in wine drinkers."

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