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Massachusetts: Hidden Loophole in Wine Shipping Bill Bans Consumer Access to Thousands of Wines

TO GO WITH: Lifestyle-HongKong-wine-trade,ADVANCER by Dennis Chong This picture taken on May 24, 2014 shows bottles of wine on display in a shop in Hong Kong. Young middle-class drinkers from Asia's emerging economies are being targeted as China's voracious appetite for wine slows down, organisers say ahead of the region's largest wine and spirits fair, which opens on May 27 in Hong Kong. AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY WALLACEANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty ImagesThe new wine shipping law inserted into the recently approved Massachusetts budget continues to endorse a ban on the shipment of hundreds thousands of wines into the state. This fact has gone unmentioned in coverage of the issue and in the bill itself, despite the American Wine Consumer Coalition, its members and other advocates alerting lawmakers to this loophole in the law in recent months.


All of the following wines may not be shipped to Massachusetts residents under the new wine shipping law because the only U.S. source for these wines is wine retailers and wine stores, which are banned from shipping into the state under the new law:


French Champagne

French Bordeaux

French Sauterne

French Red Burgundy

French White Burgundy

French Rhone Wines

French Loire Wines

French Alsatian Wines

French Rose From Provence

All other French Wines

German Rieslings

All Other German Wines

Spanish Rioja Wines

All Other Spanish Wines

Vintage Port From Portugal

Barolo From Italy

Barbaresco From Italy

All Other Italian Wines

Austrian Riesling

Austrian Gruner Veltliner

All Other Austrian Wines

Australian Shiraz

Australian Barossa Valley Wines

Australian Clare Valley Wines

Australian Eden Valley Wines

Australian Adelaide Hills Wines

All Other Australian Wines

New Zealand Pinot Noirs

New Zealand Chardonnays

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs

All Other New Zealand Wines

South African Pinotage

All Other South African Wines

Chilean Merlot

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

All Other Chilean Wines

Argentine Malbec

Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon

All Other Argentine Wines

Uruguayan Tannat

All Other Uruguayan wines

Canadian Ice Wine

British Columbian Wines

All Other Canadian Wines

All Greek Wines

All Other Wines Sold, But Not Produced, in the United States


In addition to all foreign made wines being banned from shipment due to their only U.S. source, wine stores and wine retailers, being banned from shipping to Massachusetts, the following wines and products will also be banned for the same reason:


The vast majority of rare and collectible American wines most often sold at auction houses and wine retailers

The vast majority of non-American (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, etc) collectible and investment grade wines that are almost always sold by retailers and auction houses.

Wine-of-the-Month Club Memberships

Wines sold as parts of Gift Baskets

The vast majority of Kosher wines


“We understand that a small cup of water for the parched is better than no water at all, however there is no reason why the legislature could not have provided the state’s consumers with a full glass of water- or wine-rather than choosing to unnecessarily protect special interests,” said Tom Wark, executive director of the American Wine Consumer Coalition.


By banning the delivery of an entire class of wines, the Massachusetts legislature may have made the same mistake they did the last time they attempted to address this issue and invited a constitutional challenge and lost. It would be in the best interests of the Legislature, the State, and, most importantly, consumers, to see this new law expanded to allow consumers to have wine shipped to them from out-of-state wine retailers as well as from out-of-state wineries.


Source: Yahoo Finance