The Chicago Tribune Gets it Right


In Michigan the attempt by wine wholesalers to end all direct shipment of wine to consumers was defeated in large part because consumers, wineries and the media were willing to call out the wholesalers’ blatant attempt to game the system and institute a monopoly for themselves on sales of wine in that state. Wholesalers in Illinois are attempting to do the same thing through a cynical attempt to use the public’s concern for the health of children and teens as their tool.

It appears that just as the media in Michigan caught on to this kind of cynicism, the Illinois media is also on top of the wholesalers’ game.

On Saturday the Chicago Tribune published an editorial urging that state’s legislators to rise above cynicism and use common sense in addressing the issue of consumer access to wine products and fair trade.

It’s really a well written editorial that goes to the heart of what the issues are in Illinois. As for the attempt to link direct shipping to underage drinking, the Chicago Tribune had this to say:

The wine and beer distributors insist
their main concerns are to protect the state’s sales tax collections
and prevent minors from buying alcoholic beverages online. But the
Supreme Court decision dismissed those concerns. The states "provide
little concrete evidence for the sweeping assertion that they cannot
police direct shipments by out-of-state wineries," wrote Justice
Anthony Kennedy for the majority. "Minors are just as likely to order
wine from in-state producers as from out-of-state producers." There’s
no evidence that online ordering for in-state wine shipments has led to
an increase in minors’ alcohol consumption.

If lawmakers are
going to get back in the wine game, they should promote competition and
protect consumers from unnecessary middlemen and their markups.
Otherwise, stay out.

Well said!

Posted In: Shipping Wine


One Response

  1. Ivy - April 19, 2010

    Hey come check out Rockit Bar & Grill tonight, they are having this awesome event called Taste It. Food and Wine Magazine’s winemaker of the year Charles Smith is going to be there to talk about his wines. Free tastings and 50% off bottles of wine! 3700 N. Clark in Chicago 7pm

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