Friday, May 14, 2010

Alcohol in the news; Bill in Congress Could limit direct wine shipments

From the AP/Yahoo

Bill in Congress could limit direct wine shipments

But now Congress is considering legislation that could limit wineries' ability to sell and ship directly to consumers. The wholesale distributors who proposed the legislation say it will keep wine from minors, limit alcohol consumption and ensure states control sales.
What seems to be left out, of this article is that wineries and other places that sell alcohol via mail order, have an agreement with the shippers.

For example, if you order beer from West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago, will require that you show proof of age with the shipper in order to get the beer delivered. Other places require that you give them a copy of your drivers license that they keep on file, in order to ship.

"The argument against it was that young kids would be buying wine," Gordon Schnell asked. "Young kids aren't going to pay $30 for wine."

Added his wife, laughing, "Or order it two weeks in advance and wait."

If kids can afford $30 wine, and are patient enough to wait to get some good wine delivered, they deserve to get it.

Wholesale distributors buy wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks from wineries and brewers and then sell them to grocery and liquor stores, which resell them to consumers. Direct sales let consumers buy wine that isn't available at a wine shop or grocery store, but they cost wholesale distributors more business each year.
The three tier system is bullshit.

The bill before Congress would reinforce states' rights to regulate alcohol sales and make it harder for special interests to sue to overturn state alcohol laws.

Paul Pisano, general counsel for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, conceded his group drafted the original measure before Congress and its members would benefit by strengthening long-standing liquor laws.

Oh, what do you know, the bill was drafted by people with a direct interest in the three tier system.

"We are extremely concerned that alcohol deregulation will make it very difficult for our states to effectively protect the public interest and ensure the safest system of alcohol distribution in the world," said the letter, signed by 39 state attorneys general.
It left off that they are angry that they aren't getting their cut of alcohol sales.

The three tier system is similar to prostitution. The distributors are the pimps. Who has the power in a pimping operation? Is it the consumer? Is it the prostitute? Nope, it's the person who provides no real service, but takes a cut of the money.

Several times a year, L'Ecole mails 1,500 boxes to members of its wine club. Lawmakers in West Coast states with booming wine industries likely won't ban direct shipping, Clubb said. But states with few wineries, where wholesalers have lobbying clout and that were forced to change their rules, may feel differently.

"This bill takes us 40 years into the past," he said.

Thankfully it doesn't take us 77 years in the past.

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