I like to complain a lot about the state of wine shipping laws in America. It's a backwards system that favors the kleptocratic state-run monopolies and their distribution chain cronies (or is it the other way around?). And don't get me started on HR 1161, one of the worst pieces of legislation to hit our House of Representatives in recent memory.
Of course, we Americans like to think we're on our own in both good times and in bad, but any wine lover who's spent time in Canada knows that things are just as bad up there, if not worse. As bad as some states are, the selection of wines that even the most ridiculously corrupt liquor control boards stock vastly exceed those found in their Canadian counterparts.
And then there are those Canadian laws which say it's literally illegal to take alcohol across state lines. Nevermind sticking it in a box and shipping it. Walk across the border with a bottle of wine and you're technically in serious trouble, though prosecutions aren't all that common.
I got to thinking about all this the other day while reading (and commiserating with) a story about a guy who is going to protest these Canadian laws by (gasp) walking from British Colombia to Alberta with a box of wine under one arm.
I could completely empathize with his frustration at the inanity of the laws that mirror our own here in the US, and which prevent wineries in one part of the country from shipping their wine to citizens in another province.
Perhaps the most striking part of the story, however, was not the resemblance and commensurate levels of stupidity of our laws, but the quite honest admission of Canadian government officials that these laws were a sweet source of revenue that they were loathe to give up.
Our American politicians prefer to talk about the perils of letting alcohol fall into the hands of our youth, while sidestepping the vast amounts of money that flows into state coffers from state-run liquor stores, and into politician's pockets from distribution companies.
In any case, I'm raising a glass to Mr. Terry David Mulligan, and his efforts to point out the stupidity and rapaciousness of such laws.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery
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