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07.08.2009

Why You Still Can't Buy the Wine You Want

handcuffed.jpgIt's difficult, but if I concentrate hard, I can remember a time when you couldn't order stuff on the Internet. Of course, that was only about 12 years ago, but I'm part of Generation X and we have short attention spans.

I certainly take for granted the fact that most everything I would want to buy for myself is available online, and that includes the wine I drink. I have the dual privilege of living in the state of California, as well as being fully plugged into the Internet (if I could get an implant, I would).

This means that I can, for all intents and purposes, buy pretty much every wine I could want from the comfort of my iPhone. But that is NOT true for a large part of this country. Yet.

The reasons for this are really involved, and are inextricably linked with the bizarre history of the United States, prohibition, and political corruption.

Any modern wine lover who seeks out wines beyond what is available at the nearest wine shop, and even those who are content to shop within walking distance of their home, should have an understanding of just how fucked up the American system that regulates the sale of alcohol actually is.

And by far the best and most complete explanation I have ever read was written a couple of weeks ago by fellow blogger Tom Wark.

I highly recommend -- nay I insist -- that you read his article if you love wine. The more people that understand the sorry state of affairs that we have when it comes to alcohol sales in the U.S. the more people can get on the bandwagon calling for change. There aren't a lot of threats to your ability as a free citizen of this country to enjoy a nice glass of wine, but this system is definitely one of them.

Check it out.


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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.