Wine Industry: Know Your Friends.
The wineries have Wine America, The Wine Institute and numerous other advocacy groups to look out for their interests.
The retailers have the National Association of Wine Retailers, American Beverage Licensees and numerous other state-based organizations to look out for their interests.
The Wholesalers have the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Association as well as numerous state based wholesaler organizations that press the interests of distributors of wine.
The wine consumers. They have…..themselves and nothing else. That is to say, if you want to understand why there are so many laws and regulations that seem to completely ignore the interests of consumers, take note of the fact that there is no organization that represents the interests of consumers.
It is interesting to note that in almost every case the interests of wineries and retailers align quite closely with those of consumers. Yet still, in state after state consumers are still prohibited from having wine shipped to them from wineries or prohibited to have any imported wines shipped to them or prohibited from buying a bottle of wine at the grocery store or prohibited from buying wine on a Sunday or prohibited from bringing a bottle of wine into a restaurant.
One of the ways this disparity in representation plays out is by noting just how rare it is for any wine consumer, let alone their representatives, to testify at hearings when bills impacting consumer access to wine are in play in state legislatures. I’ve personally testified in numerous states on behalf of the National Association of Wine Retailers (formerly the Specialty Wine Retailers Association) and in all that time, with one exception, can I recall a single consumer or consumer organization testifying in support of consumer rights.
When a national wine consumer rights organization does launch, and it will, one would expect and hope that those members of the trade who have an interest, financial and philosophical, in seeing consumer wine laws liberalized will support consumers. That support ought to be financial, logistical, philosophical and moral.