Enlightened Wine Shipping Policy

There is a bill on the table in, of all places, Georgia that if passed by the Assembly there and signed by Governor Perdue would make that state among the more liberal in the area of direct shipment of wine.

The new bill reads in part:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, any person currently licensed in this or any other state as a winery or a manufacturer, wholesale dealer, importer, or retail dealer of wine who obtains a wine direct shipper license, as provided for in this Code section, may ship up to 24 nine-liter cases of wine annually directly to a resident of Georgia, who is at least 21 years of age, for such resident´s personal use and not for resale."

Currently a winery may ship into Georgia if they do not have a distributor in the state already. This legislation would extend the privilege to all wineries and all retailers. It is a law that takes account of the variously efficient ways by which taxes can be remitted by out-of-state wineries and retailers and is a further acknowledgment of the fact that direct shipment of wine is not a threat to the health of minors.

Furthermore, this bill would give Georgian wineries the opportunity to service a growing customer base, something that other states that allow their wineries to ship have found is exceedingly good for the industry and the economy.

And of course, as well as allowing out of state retailers to serve the Georgia market of wine lovers, it would allow Georgia retailers the motivation to develop their own direct shipping program if they desired.

Bottom line: This is a stellar bill.

However, if it gets through the assembly unscathed and unharmed and remaining an enlightened piece of economic reform in that state, it still must get past the Governor of Georgia. Governor Perdue vetoed two wine related bills last year, one that would allow diners to take home unfinished bottles and another that would allow wineries to sell wine at festivals. The Governor also opposes allowing alcohol to be sold in Georgia on Sundays, a controversy that is currently underway in Georgia as a bill to that effect is on the table and it appears to have the broad support of Georgians. If the Governor is true to his past behavior, it would not be surprising if he vetoes this direct shipping bill.

It seems likely that the opposition to this bill will come from wholesalers and religious conservatives. The argument will primarily be, "the children will get drunk and die off of $25 Cabernet they ordered on the Internet, paid an extra $50 to have shipped and and who waited at their parents door with a fake ID in hand  and convinced the delivery man that those pimples and baby face are merely a result of long days at a stuffy office.

In any case, this is a bill that every wine lover in Georgia should get behind. It’s an example of enlightened economic reform, genuine respect for consumers and an acknowledgment that we live in a different time than 1933.

It’s House Bill 159 and was introduced by


3 Responses

  1. Erwin Dink - February 6, 2007

    Hahahahahahahahaha! As someone who moved to Georgia 20 years ago from California I can assure you Sonny Boy will veto this. Every once in a while we get to vote to approve something that is then summarily reversed by his pigness. There’s a weird coalition of big business, religious zealots and the Dept. of Transportation (?!) that runs things down here and us pesky citizens better not try to get in the way.

  2. Bill Wilson - February 7, 2007

    My good ol’ state of Indiana is just as backwards as Georgia’s leadership when it comes to alcohol policy. Hell, we can’t even buy it on Sundays–and there’s no movement afoot to try to change that.
    There are days when I just want to pack up and move…

  3. Fake ID Girl - August 5, 2008

    I hope they get more liberal in the shipment of alchohal. I live in VT and they just passed a law that people can’t even get cigarettes shipped to them.

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