Boston, Massachusetts (PRWEB) November 22, 2013
Massachusetts wine drinkers and a national organization of wine consumers are calling on state lawmakers to pass a comprehensive direct wine shipping bill that allows consumers to have all types of wines shipped to them, not just those lawmakers think consumers should be drinking.
At a recent hearing in Boston on H.294, Representative Ted Speliotis’ bill that would allow Massachusetts residents to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wineries only, numerous consumers along with the American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) endorsed the bill, but also called for an amendment allowing shipments from out-of-state wine stores.
Without Amending, Lawmakers Determine What Kind of Wines may be Shipped, not Consumers
“Any bill that doesn’t allow shipment from out-of-state wine stores deprives consumers the ability to have French, Spanish, Italian and all other imported wines shipped to them since only wine stores sell such wines in the U.S.,” said Tom Wark, Executive director of the AWCC. “It’s not the job of lawmakers to determine which style, flavor or type of wines consumers ought to be able to buy.”
AWCC has suggested that H.294 not only be amended to allow consumers to receive shipments form both wineries and wine stores, but also that lawmakers pass legislation allowing the state’s own wine stores to ship wine to Bay State consumers as well as to out-of-state consumers. Currently, Massachusetts package stores are inexplicably banned from doing either, hurting both Massachusetts consumers as well as the package stores.
Currently, H.294 is awaiting a vote in the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure where a hearing was held November 12. At the hearing numerous consumers waited hours to testify in favor of a comprehensive direct shipping bill and to endorse and amendment allowing shipments from both out-of-state wineries and out-of-state wine stores. H.294 must pass out of committee before being considered by the full legislature.
“Massachusetts consumers have been waiting nearly four years for a comprehensive wine shipping bill since the last wine shipping law was ruled discriminatory and unconstitutional by a federal court,” notes Wark. “It would be a shame if this time around lawmakers chose to discriminate against particular types of wine by passing a bill that banned the shipment of imported wines, wine-of-the-month club offerings, collectible wines and Kosher wines, all of which are sold only by wine stores and not wineries.
ABOUT THE AWCC
The American Wine Consumer Coalition is a member supported national organization that advocates on behalf of wine consumers. AWCC gives consumers a voice in the legislative arena that has traditionally been dominated by the interests of wineries, wine stores and wine distributors to the detriment of wine consumers. For more information on AWCC see http://www.wineconsumers.org