APRIL 15, 2010: The Bill, HR 5034: The Library of Congress

APRIL 16, 2010: Robert Taylor, Wine Spectator; Jim Harper, Washington Watch; Alder Yarrow, VinographyEvan Dawson, New York Cork Report

APRIL 17, 2010: Allan, Cellarblog; Sonadora, Wannabe Wino Wine Blog; Tom Wark, Ferementation; George Parkinson, Blog4Wine; The Wine Harlots

APRIL 18, 2010: Tom Johnson, Louisville Juice; William Dowd, Dowd on Drinks; Krista Giovacco, Noble Rot; Jeff Lefevere, Good Grape

APRIL 19, 2010: Jeff Siegel, The Wine Curmudgeon; WineCompass; Joe Smith, KGW

APRIL 20, 2010: Tyler Colman, Dr. Vino

APRIL 21, 2010: Amy Corron Power, Another Wine Blog; Wine Business; VintubaTV; Paul Franson, Wines & Vines; Match Vineyards

APRIL 22, 2010: Tom Wark, Fermentation; Joe Roberts, Wine Crush

APRIL 23, 2010: Josh Wade, DrinkNectar

APRIL 24, 2010 David Honig, Palate Press

APRIL 25, 2010 Adam Japko, Wine Zag; Catie, Through The Walla Walla Grape Vine

ALSO: STOPHR5034, Facebook

On April 15, 2010, a bill, HR 5034, written by the National Beer WHOLESALERS Association (NBWA), and supported by the Wine & Spirits WHOLESALERS of America (WSWA), was introduced to Congress.

Every day since then, wine writers have railed at the danger posed to both consumer rights and the livelihoods of small family wineries across the country. I’ve carefully timed my article so as to be the last wine writer to weigh in; but I did want my readers to know about this bill, and if you are feeling the urge, I would invite you to take action against it. Here’s the deal:

The bill is an effort to roll back hard fought battles on the part of consumers to receive direct shipment of wines from small out of state wineries. Recently court decisions have been going in favor of the consumer. Many small, family wineries rely on direct shipments of wine to stay in business.

If passed, HR 5034 can set up new barriers, reinstate old barriers, and prevent legal challenges to those barriers to direct shipments of wine and other alcohol.

The bill is a transparent ploy by the alcohol wholesale associations to guarantee a permanent monopoly of all alcohol distribution for their members, and protecting children from access to alcohol is the reason why they say the bill is needed.

I receive many bottles of wine at my door, samples to be reviewed, and I have had to sign for all of them. Both Fed Ex and UPS collect signatures, and check ID’s to make sure the recipients are 21 or over. The boxes the wines are shipped are clearly marked “adult signature required.” No youth ever ordered premium wine online, paid by credit card, waited a week for delivery, and presented a legal ID at delivery; if a youth were attempting to obtain alcohol, they would show up at the local convenience store with a $20 bill and ask older shoppers to buy them a 12 pack of Budweiser – instant gratification, realistic, real, no ID required. The “justification” for the bill is a charade. This is nothing more than bought and paid for politicians from both parties doing the bidding of their contributors.

Ending direct shipment of wine ends any possibility of tasting small lot wines from small family owned wineries, as most wholesalers don’t bother carrying these handcrafted specialty wines.

To write your elected representative to tell them you oppose HR 5034, Free The Grapes! has prepared a letter than you can optionally personalize, and by entering your personal information, your letter will be emailed directly to both you U.S. Representative and your U.S. Senators.