Lawmakers, the alcohol trade and the media are not accustomed to hearing from the consumer when issues of access to wine are discussed and that needs to change.
(PRWEB) June 19, 2013
Given the lack of representation of wine consumers, it should be no surprise that when states revise their laws concerning access to wine, beer and spirits, consumers are left out of the conversation. Meanwhile, new laws and regulations represent the interests of the alcohol beverage trade, not the consumers. Today, with the founding of the American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC), wine consumers are given a voice.
The AWCC website is located at: http://www.wineconsumers.org
The American Wine Consumer Coalition is a non-profit 501c4 organization dedicated to representing the interests of the nation’s wine consumers in state houses, on the federal level, and with state alcohol regulatory commissions—all institutions where consumers have never before had representation nor a voice in deliberations concerning consumer access to wine. Additionally, the AWCC provides its members with a variety of benefits to aid them in their wine appreciation and education, from discounts on wine education, wine journals and wine accessories to access to wine events across the country.
“In 2011 Congress held hearings on a bill (HR 1161) that, if passed, would have fundamentally and negatively impacted consumer access to wine, yet not a single consumer was invited to testify before Congress,” notes AWCC President David White. “While this was not the first nor the last time those most impacted by these kinds of deliberations were shut out of the conversation, this is when it became clear to a number of wine consumers across the country that their voice is ignored, and that something needed to change.”
Today, numerous states block consumer access to wine and the ability of consumers to enjoy a simple bottle as a result of a variety of archaic and protectionist laws that serve special interests, but not the basic interests of wine consumers:
- 11 states still ban their residents from having wine shipped to them from out of state wineries.
- 36 States still ban their residents from having wine shipped to them from out of state retailers
- 17 States still ban its residents from buying wine in grocery stores
- 4 states ban the purchase of wine on Sundays
- 2 States control the sale of wine, rather than allowing its residents to buy their wine in a free and open marketplace
- 15 states ban their residents from bringing a bottle from home into a restaurant.
Among the issues that are high on the AWCC’s agenda are legal consumer access to wine via direct shipment, grocery store wine sales and privatization efforts that take the government out of the business of selling wine and putting it into the hands of the much more responsive free market.
“Lawmakers, the alcohol trade and the media are not accustomed to hearing from the consumer when issues of access to wine are discussed,” said White. “That needs to change. It’s simply irresponsible and unfair to continue down the road of ignoring wine consumer interests and looking out only for those members of the industry who have long gamed the system in their favor.”
Wine Consumers across the country can learn more about the American Wine Consumer Coalition at its website: http://www.wineconsumers.org. An annual membership brings with it the knowledge that a real voice for wine consumers is being supported as well as a number of benefits that will aide wine lovers in their wine appreciation. Annual consumer membership is $35.00.