Wine Lovers Unite!

I direct you to this post over at Vinography. I read about this House Bill yesterday and nearly cried. If you at all value the ability to order wine from retailers/wineries outside your state, I urge you to call/write your Congressional Representative immediately. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE CHILDREN, IT’S SIMPLY ABOUT SUPPORTING AN ANTIQUATED MONOPOLY DESIGNED TO LIMIT CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS AND TO STOP PROPER/LEGAL INTERSTATE COMMERCE. Preventing consumers from ordering wine from retailers/wineries outside their state does nothing to protect children from alcohol. Tossing “children” into a bill is the fastest way to get it attention and get it passed because no one, and I repeat no one, wants to be seen as even potentially connected to voting no on a bill that will “protect” the children. It’s a ruse. An insidious ruse meant to hide the real purpose of the bill, which is to keep money in the pockets of distributors and keep wine choice out of the hands of consumers.  VOTE NO on HR 5034!!!



7 Responses

  1. It’s funny how the premise of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is that government should intercede on behalf of business against unfair competition and monopolist practices — and yet, the only true purveyor of monopolist rents is the government itself.

  2. I actually teared up too. I was thinking of all the small vineyards who rely on direct sales to have a living. How to make a wino cry? Take away the vino! Cheers!

  3. Here was my response to my congressman:

    Congressman McCaul,

    I am writing you about H. R. 5034. As an avid wine drinker, I am very concerned about provisions outlined in this bill. I am a staunch supporter of our Texas wineries but I also like many wines produced in California. My favorite wine is pinot noir, a varietal that is essentially non-existant in Texas since it prefers cooler growing conditions. Many of my favorites are only available from small producers (less than 3000 cases) who are not available in Texas by the choice of distributors, not the choice of the wineries.

    Provisions in H. R. 5034 would essentially eliminate my access to those wines. The only way I would be able to bring these wines back to Texas to enjoy would be to travel to California and drive them back to Texas myself since I would not be able to even ship them to my home.

    Why? Because distributors want to protect their own business. I like to drink pinot noir priced about $40 a bottle. That bottle’s wholesale cost is roughly $20. The distributor want his $10. That in itself doesn’t bother me. It’s the tactics and justification used that really make me upset by this legislation.

    There is no doubt that this resolution is largely written and sponsored by distribution lobbyists. As someone who has worked in Texas helping craft legislation regarding education policy, I understand how this process works and this is clearly written by someone “in the business” rather than by a legislator. The two parts that make it obvious are as follows:

    1. There are provisions that all but eliminate legal recourse if this passes. Could this be more obvious? Write a piece of legislation that gives your side what they want and at the same time makes it impossible for the other side to fight back. My eight year old son ( who asked me what I was doing writing you) understood how wrong this was when I substituted Lego, Lego Club and Target for Wine, WInery and distributor. My second grader may be smart, but it is pretty bad when he can see how this legislation is flawed.

    2. The tactic of getting the legislation passed under the guise of “minor’s access to alcohol.” Let me phrase it this way – can the sponsors of this bill give you an example of a 17-year old in your congressional district mail-ordering a bottle of $40 California pinot noir so he can get drunk on a Saturday night? Phrased that way, it sounds pretty preposterous doesn’t it. However, that is essentially the basic reason that the bill’s author’s want you to vote for this repressive legislation. I’ll make you a deal. For every documented case of underage purchases of alcohol made though the mail (that were not made by members of distributor’s families) that you can document in your district prior to the day that legislation was filed, I will give you a bottle of that $40 pinot that I will no longer be able to purchase if this legislation passes. I figure at the most, I’ll be out a single bottle. I would guess that there will be more “minor in possession” citations issued around the Texas A&M campus tonight than there are instances of minors mail-ordering alcohol across the entire United States in 2010. It is simply a thinly veiled scare tactic that belongs with unicorns, Bigfoot and the grassy knoll.

    I urge you to give this bill a resounding NO vote if it sees a vote. As a conservative, this is exactly the type of unnecessary governmental intrusion and special interest legislation you campaigned against. Please stay true to your philosophy and vote no on this legislation.

    Monte Mast

  4. Definitely something that hits close to home for nearly every wine lover in the world. Additionally, it’s an attempt to stifle small business, shutting down the avenues for revenue of small wineries. I’m crafting my letter, but I like that Monte Mast wrote – and may use that as a first attempt.



    (PS – I stumbled this post )

  5. […] WannabeWino zeroes-in on the off-the-shelf argument that it’s all about the children: […]

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