Read Read Wine

Here’s an article I wrote for a superb publication, e-Commerce Law & Strategy. (I’ve clipped the newsletter to show my article only; if you’re interested in reading other articles in the September newsletter, you’ll need to subscribe.)  My article is about wine shipping. I was inspired after a recent visit to San Francisco, and the idea that I must have wine shipped to my doorstep from the winery!

So I’m a lazy shopper. What of it.

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  1. Ann Auerbach says:

    I find that the lack of unified US state laws allowing state licensed wineries to ship wine directly to adult consumers to be extremely archaic. As stated in Cary Wiggins article Wine Online, the current three-tier system to regulate alcohol distribution is being challenged. And I think it should be challenged.

    The claims that direct shipping will increase underage access and Internet abuse or that wineries want to avoid paying state taxes seems quite unfounded. Or best of all, that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the direct shipment of alcohol beverages.

    I find that very hard to believe especially since the Wall Street Journal reported on 09/11/08 that plans to start selling wine on its web site later this year. My impression is that Amazon has a track record for being innovative in how they run their business, the products they offer and their underlying business support model. I suspect that Amazon will do very well selling & shipping wine, paying all required taxes and ensuring, via the current UPS shipping process in place today, that underage children do not have access to the wine shipped.

    Prohibition didn’t seem to stop the speakeasies from flourishing or the underground trafficking of spirits from Canada. I don’t think that the majority of states that oppose direct wine shipments will be able to hold out forever. The internet marketing machine is alive and well and eventually states will see that they are actually losing tax revenue by opposing shipments and their concern for underage access to wine is unfounded.

    Once available through Amazon, we’ll see if Americans are really overwhelmingly opposed to the direct shipment of alcohol beverages. It’s time for the states opposing wine shipments to adopt the Model Direct Shipment Bill and give consumers access to the thousands of wines produced here in the US. Consumers should be allowed to choose the method they want to obtain wine and have access to the larger network of vintners vs. the select few products marketed through the liquor mega marts.


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