Sunday, February 06, 2011

Wine Wars Two

In the Local Opinions section of The Washington Post, David White weighed in on the issue of allowing wine sales in Maryland from out of state retailers. David issues a call to arms of wine enthusiasts against any compromise in the direct shipping bill that would eliminate the provision allowing for direct shipping from out of state retailers. He points out that doing so would “prohibit residents from ordering wine from Internet retailers, joining wine-of-the-month clubs and taking part in out-of-state wine auctions.”
“Such a compromise should be offensive to wine snobs and beer swillers alike. Maryland residents must fight for this bill as it’s written.”

On one side are the consumers, on the other are the entrenched and well heeled interests that support the states antiquated three tier liquor distribution system that was originally put in place following the repeal of prohibition.

“The wholesaling industry is quite generous to politicians. Between 2000 and 2006, according to the Specialty Wine Retailers Association, which opposes restrictions on wine sales across state borders, wholesalers contributed nearly $50 million to state campaigns. These donations make perfect sense, since politicians keep the wholesalers in business by protecting the middle tier.”

David White is the editor of the daily wine blog, Terroirist.
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