Wine Shipping: More Good News
A bill allowing the direct shipment of wine to Rhode Islanders from their own state’s wineries as well as from out of state wineries was introduced today. The proposed law would ask a winery to buy a $100 license, report all sales of wine to a Rhode Island resident and to remit state taxes. Wineries would be allowed to ship up to 24 cases annually to a single customer.
The bill will compete with a wholesaler sponsored bill that….can you believe it….would outlaw all shipment of wine, including wine from Rhode Island wineries.
Having lived in Rhode Island for four years and working there for another two, I think the smart money has to be on the wholesalers winning this fight. The wholesalers in Rhode Island are extremely powerful. In Rhode Island, money matters more than in most states, as corruption is simply a matter of course here. A good example: Providence has a law against parking on the streets overnight. Now, among the other crimes Buddy Cianci (the former Mayor) was being investigated for was shaking down contributions from tow truck operators as a requirement for being put on the city towing list. Now, you have a law that increases the number of towings and a Mayor shaking down the operators, you do the math.
Expect a similar moneygrab here. If they keep them outlawed, they can shake down the wholesalers every year or so, by threatening to revisit the issue. The in-state producers are so small, it is doubtful they can match the contributions the wholesalers will surely pony up.
The Good Cheer is Spreading to Rhode Island
Residents of Rhode Islande have joined the ranks of the lucky who can buy their wine directly from a winery and have it shipped home. Provided, however, that such winery has forked out the $100 for the license. Via:FERMENTATIONS: The Daily Wine Blog