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 A Wine Consumer Powder Keg 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post A Wine Consumer Powder Keg
A Wine Consumer Powder Keg
by: Ronald Senn





Last year I ran across a website that stirred my interest in wine consumer issues and I wrote an article about it (see my article at: http://winecoolerblog.com/category/wine-issues). The website (freethegrapes.com) presented specific information with regards to shipping wine between the various states. I found out that several states actually made it a criminal offense to do this type of shipping of wine. Believe it or not, some states even classified this crime as a felony. Because it has been some time since I came across this issue, I decided to reacquaint myself with it in order to share the facts with you.

What I found is the issue has progressed to a critical situation called the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act of 2010 (commonly called House Bill #5034). Hearings on this bill were recently held in late September of this year. This bill amends the Webb-Kenyon Act by emphasizing Congressional Policy that each state or territory shall continue to have the primary authority to regulate alcoholic beverages and decreasing the ability for legal actions challenging the authority of states to regulate alcoholic beverages. This amendment negates the Federal authority to regulate interstate commerce in this particular case.

House Bill #5034 further amends the Wilson Act to eliminate the state requirement to regulate the importation of all alcohol based liquors or liquids to the same extent and in the same manner as such alcohol based products produced in such state or territory. In my words, this means that each state can and probably will discriminate against these products that are produced outside that respective state. Once again, I believe the Federal government’s role in interstate commerce is being set aside by H.R. 5034.

Why do you suppose, with all the critical legislation that congress should be working on, that they are undertaking an issue like this? The answer is lobbyists for the Beverage Distribution and Wholesale Industry are putting pressure on them to do so. The traditional American business model starts with a producer that leads to a wholesaler that leads to the consumer. The wholesalers in this equation are naturally fighting your ability to purchase and ship directly from the wine producer of your choice, strictly a matter of money. Wholesalers do not want anyone messing with their “money tree” that has been in place so long.

During my review of this issue, I did find information from Congressman Mike Thompson (California), a person who testified against this discriminatory House Bill (review his testimony at: http://mikethompson.house.gov/News/Docu ... tID=209346. His remarks will make you think about the evolution of regulation of alcoholic beverages since the era of Prohibition in the United States. Beer lovers if you think this is only a wine issue then you had better think again. If you have a favorite brewery outside of your resident state, you may not be able to get that favorite shipped to your home.

The Commerce Act was established by Congress and litigated many times since Prohibition. All of this Post-Prohibition activity led to our current regulations that have proven to be some of the best in the World. It is time for consumers of alcoholic beverages to get involved. Visit the freethegrapes.org website. They have made getting a response to your Congressperson simple with an easy to fill our form letter that can be easily e-mailed to the right people. In my opinion, if we don’t rally around getting House Bill 5034 thrown out, we will be stepping back in time with regard to your consumer and constitutional rights.

See Wine and Beverage Storage Solutions: http://idealwinecoolers.com/

See Wine and Beverage Information and Facts: http://winecoolerblog.com/

About The Author
Ron served in country in the Navy from 1966 to 1970. Ron graduated from the Univ. of Arizona with a BS Degree (1972) and a MS Degree (1977). Ron retired from the U.S. Forest Service after over 30 years of public service. Ron is currently the Vice-president of Ideal Wine Coolers. Ron likes to golf, fish, camp, and attend baseball and college basketball games.

For information on wine storage solutions see: http://idealwinecoolers.com

Visit his blog forum on wine topics at: http://winecoolerblog.com
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.idealwinecoolers.com



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Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:38 am
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