RTOD 15FEB2008: Is Not Can Have Winez?

RTOD: Is Not Can Have Winez?

Today, my topic is about Wine. Not the sound you get when you ask to buy a high-powered vehicle of your choice Whine, or the wonderful noise from a Supercharger Whine, but the alcoholic beverage of choice for your more up-scale dinners, Wine.

I am not much of a drinker. In fact, the last time I drank, I had two glasses of a mixture of apple juice and Apple Pucker. Before that, it was a single Smirnoff Ice Twist two or three months prior. I don’t do too much drinking. But, if I so chose, I could go to the alcohol distributor, purchase my alcohol, and be on my way. That isn’t so bad, if you don’t count the 15-20 minute round trip to the liquor store by automobile. I wouldn’t complain about it because it is still rather convenient. However, this is not the main point of the topic. Well, at least not directly.

Today, I was on my favorite bargain site, www.woot.com, and they are having a “Woot-Off,” which is basically a lot of smaller deals in one day. When I came back from lunch, they had a Woot-Off Detour, which pointed you to wine.woot.com. This will take you to deals on wines. Go figure! So, I was reading the description, thinking, $40 for four bottles of wine, two red, two white. Hmm, not a bad idea to have some wine handy in case we have guests or maybe my wife and I want to sit down to our Kielbasa Stuff with something more than water or soda. All of a sudden, I get to a shipping restrictions list. Guess what? I can’t have wine shipped to me in Delaware! WHAT!? I can order all sorts of things online, which get shipped to me, even some things of a questionable nature, but, as a consenting, of age adult, I CANNOT direct-order my wine?! Why is that? Did you know that if you live in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Utah, you can’t have a legally purchasable substance shipped to your home? You can go to the state-sanctioned stores and buy them, but you can’t call, say, your favorite winery in California and have them ship to you your favorite bottle of merlot? Why is that? Because there are state wholesale companies, who are monopolizing the holdings of all alcohol not yet purchased in the state, who feel that they should have the sole rights to sell your alcohol for an obvious markup. It’s ridiculous! Because the state feels that they may lose some money on the sale of alcohol, your options are cut to what the state thinks you should be permitted to purchase, and not necessarily the bouquet you feel is appropriate at the time. Now, yes, obviously the state stores will give you the immediate pick-up, but what if you want a fine wine from, say, California, Florida, New York, or somewhere else? Because of these monopolies, you would have to drive there! I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do than drive hours or days for a specific wine, and, what if your family is coming over, and you want a specific vintage that isn’t available to you in the state stores? “Tough luck!” says the governments of these states! I personally find it to be insane that I can order a vacuum-sealed New York Strip steak from New York, direct-ship oranges from Florida, and ship in my cheeses from Wisconsin, but I cannot get my wine anywhere other than the store down the street! Hell, the Zune that I am listening to came DIRECT FROM CHINA!, but if I want my sake from Japan, I had better fly myself there!

Now, of course, some people will look at this and say, “Well, if you don’t drink, why does it matter?” or “It isn’t that big of a deal, I can get wine at the corner!” I say, it is that big of a deal! We live in an economy that is supposed to be a free market, and if I want TheLoneWulf vineyard’s wine, I want that wine, and not SumWhereElse vineyard’s wine! It should be MY CHOICE what I PURCHASE and FROM WHERE I PURCHASE with MY MONEY! Some people will say, “Well, by buying it from the store, you are paying state taxes!” I will, in turn, say that federally licensed to sell vineyards have already come up with an agreement to include any state alcohol taxes applicable to the beverage in the online or telephone order! So, where is the loss? Oh, yeah, the wholesalers don’t get their cut, and they have the money to lobby! Time for us, the American consumer, to rally against companies like this, and make them realize that WE control the money, and NOT THEM!

For more information, check out http://www.freethegrapes.org/, and, don’t be afraid to comment!  I read them all!

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