Fighting Back By Blogging

The number of blogs on the internet that cover the issue of direct shipping and consumers rights and shipping regulations is few and far between. There is the blog you are reading, the ShipCompliant Blog and Inertia’s REthink blog.

NOW THERE IS A NEW ONE….dedicated to covering this issue particularly from the perspective of retailer-to-consumer shipping, but delving into the world of wine shipping issues on a daily basis.

WINE WITHOUT BORDERS is the new blog created by the Specialty Wine Retailers Association, for which I act as Executive Director.

Wine Without Borders will be the second blog I’ll be maintaining on a regular basis, but this time I’ll have help from the various members of SWRA who will also be posting commentary.

One things is clear: if the wine industry including retailers, wineries and consumers don’t support efforts to make wine shipping easier and more open, then it simply won’t happen. Today, retailers can ship legally into only 15 states. Wineries may ship into roughly 35. Why not all of them?

But here’s how I hope Fermentation Readers can help…

Help us get the message of free trade in wine out to a larger audience. One link per blog/website….That’s all we ask!

Wine Without Borders will try to do some heavy lifting by being the ongoing communication vehicle for issues surrounding direct shipping. That means keeping you up to date on legal, legislative, political and philosophical issues concerning this issue. It turns out that the the interests of retailers are the interests of consumers. It’s this conversion of interests that allows retailers to be always on the side of consumers on this issue.

So help out the cause if you can. Read the blog from time to time. Spread the word. Link Up. Please.

How will I maintain two blogs? I’ve committed to reducing my amount of sleep. But no tears for Tom. He don’t need no stinking sleep!

13 Responses

  1. Josh Hermsmeyer - October 24, 2007

    Done. Best of luck with the new effort.

  2. Michael Teer - October 24, 2007

    You say that retailers can legally ship to 15 states. That’s more than I can come up with. where can I find this info.

  3. Tom Wark - October 24, 2007

    Actually it is sixteen (woops) depending on if you are shipping from a “retailer reciprocity” state such as New Mexico. They would be (from west to east):
    AK, OR, CA, NV, WY, NM, NE, ND, TX, LA, MO, IL, WV, VA and NH.
    Now, California and Texas are open to shipping only because of agreements and preliminary injunctions put in place due to lawsuits by SWRA. Illinois is still open until June 1, 2008 when it shuts down to out of state retailers after 15 years. WV and VA have regulations in place and hoops to jump through that are so onerous it’s very difficult to ship there, but it’s not illegal.

  4. Steve Heimoff - October 24, 2007

    Good luck Tom on this important project.

  5. el jefe - October 24, 2007

    Great idea! You’ve got a link on El Bloggo Torcido. Suggestion – change the tag. Good luck!<br />

  6. Tish - October 25, 2007

    Tom, 3 questions:
    1) How do you see the SWRA vis a vis Free the Grapes? Cooperative? Parallel? Not connected?
    2) Whay hasn’t a major consumer wine magazine put the direct shipping issue a cover story? Or have I missed that somewhere? Maybe some people attending the WS NY Wine Experience will be able to shake some interest into thos folks between their 56th and 57th sips of 90-point Cabernets…
    3) If you had to pick ONE agency/group that most stands in the way of open wine shipping across state lines, what would that be?
    Keep up the good fight…

  7. Tom Wark - October 25, 2007

    Free the grapes represents winery interests. And they do it well. However they don’t represent retailer interests nor consumer interests as they relate to consumers have complete access to the wine market.
    Major wine magazines will write about this issue, but I think there is a perception that the Supreme Court decision fixed things. Yet, with retailers being prohibited from numerous markets consumers really don’t have access to the wines they want. Also, it’s not an issue that’s nearly as sexy as the next vintage. Can’t blame them really.
    As an industry it’s the wholesalers. The Wine & Spirit Wholesales Association has been most vocal in telling the big lie about the consequences of retailer-to-consumer shipping. Southern Wine & Spirits is also a key player in the attempt to limit consumer access to wine.

  8. Jill - October 25, 2007

    Tom, your link is up in our “grapewise” section! This is really important for us, obviously, as a shipping-based retailer. So fight the good fight and please let us know what we can do to help. Unfortunately, we can’t (yet) afford the dues for the SWRA…

  9. Sonadora - October 25, 2007

    Done. I added you to my “Helpful Wine Links” section.

  10. Catie - October 26, 2007

    Okay – I put up a link and posted a rant, “We Want Wine Without Borders.” I gave the WSWA no mercy. So, if all of a sudden I come up missing please have them search the Columbia River for me. I’ll be the one wearing the cement shoes and sleeping with the salmon.

  11. Tom Wark - October 26, 2007

    I promise I’ll come looking for you if you turn up missing. Thanks very much. Very much. And great post.
    In fact, thanks to everyone…Jeff, Sondora, Jill, El Jefe! Everyone!

  12. Pamela - October 28, 2007

    You have my vote Tom – I’ve added a link to ‘Wine without Borders’ on my wine site.

  13. David McDuff - October 29, 2007

    Thanks for the good work, Tom. I’ve written a piece and added WWB to the blogroll on my site.

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