In the last two weeks I've celebrated both Independence Day and Bastille Day. How, you may ask? Mostly by drinking a lot of wine. But that's beside the point. Around this time of year, I find myself thinking about the great liberties I enjoy as a wine lover in California and in the United States. In the process I inevitably consider the plight of those poor souls who have the unfortunate luck to have become wine lovers in states where their access to good booze comes only at the pleasure of a cartel made up of puritanical lawmakers and the lobbyists that have them in pocket. While it's possible to purchase weapons, deadly chemicals, ammunition, and child pornography on the internet and have it sent to your home everywhere in the United States, some people cannot legally order a bottle of wine.
As if this weren't bad enough, there's now a movement, even a congressional bill (H.R. 5034) that has as its singular goal, to make sure both that this situation never changes, but also that it can only become much worse for consumers over time.
I know, it sounds crazy, but the folks who profit from making the ordering of wine over the internet a crime are out to make sure that it stays that way. The National Beer and Wine Wholesalers organization has managed to lobby several Representatives to draft what almost every Alcohol trade organization in the country is the most anti-consumer piece of legislation they've ever seen.
I wrote about this bill when it first emerged from whatever backroom or cesspool that creates this kind of Congressional perfidy. Since then a wave of opposition to the bill has emerged in this country, and kindled the slightest bit of faith that the backbone exists to stand up to the prospect of having our lives run by those who can afford to pay politicians enough to create laws in their favor.
The bill itself has now been "held up" for a time, and no more hearings are going on about it due to a somewhat mysterious concern over a "constitutional issue" with the proposed legislation.
In the meantime, no doubt daunted by the overwhelming opposition from the public and the industry, the Wholesalers have created HR5034.Org, a web site worthy of the most heinous spin doctors in the industry.
But rather than take my word for the new heights of disinformation that this site offers, I suggest you listen to the guy who spends a lot of his time fighting the good fight for wine consumers everywhere.
Go read Tom Wark's article that demonstrates just how deceptive the Wholesalers are willing to be in order to make sure that their interests could never be subject to judicial review.
If you're an adult, legal consumer of any alcoholic beverage, and believe you should have the right to order it on the Internet no matter where you live, you should pay attention to this issue.
We value our freedom as Americans, in particular our freedom to make our lives better by changing laws when they are unjust. That freedom may soon be threatened.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
I'll Drink to That: Nicoletta Bocca of San Fereolo Book Review: Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/8/16 I'll Drink to That: Tom Peters of Monk's Cafe Vinography Unboxed: Week of May 1, 2016 I'll Drink to That: Daniel Brunier of Vieux Télégraphe Vinography Images: Green Gold I'll Drink to That: Angelo Gaja of Gaja Winery Hungarian Wine: Hope, Dreams, Heritage and Progress Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 5/1/16
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune