HR 5034, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives, would make it much harder for Wine Clubs and internet sellers to ship wine directly to consumers. HR 5034 is backed by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) who says it will prevent alcoholism and underage drinking.
Their real reason may be more accurately to protect distributors, retailers, and states’ rights. A 2005 court case said that the Commerce Clause in the United States Constitution governing interstate commerce trumped states where there were laws preventing direct shipments of wine to consumers. The ruling said that out-of-state wineries had to be treated the same way in-state wineries were treated–so if in-state wineries could ship to their resident consumers, so could those from other states.
This has been big news on blogs and wine websites. Many are speculating that the measure has no chance of passage. Still, it couldn’t hurt to let your legislator know how you feel, by calling, e-mailing, or writing.
Go this site for a letter to send to your legislator.