Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wine and Politics

Disturbing news: a bill (HR 5034) is making its way through Congress that would effectively eliminate interstate shipping of wine. Why care, you ask? Because small wineries depend on direct shipments to customers rather than wholesale distribution, and without it they are likely to fail. Wine retailers who go out of their way to find small label gems will be limited to availability through wholesalers. All of this means us as consumers will be limited to what the big wineries can pour out. Reminds me of the Wal-Mart effect and the generic-ization of consumer goods.

This bill was developed by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and is supported by the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association (are you sensing the theme here?) and four congressmen (initially; there are over 100 now). It is an unnecessary impingement on free commerce. It needs to be defeated. I fear it may slip through unnoticed if we the people don't speak up.

Seek out information. Google it up. Write to your congressmen; find yours here. There are people out there working to defeat this bill - there's even a FB page.

To get you started, go to Free the Grapes or Stop HR5034. Then write your congressmen. Find out if your reps are supporting it. Tell them not to.

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