Sunday, September 14, 2008 juices skids to start shipping

This note comes form the New York Wine & Grape Foundation e-letter:

AMAZON.COM has announced its intention to start selling U.S.-produced wine within the country by early October, giving a huge boost to the concept of direct shipment of wine to consumers and the potential that the U.S. may eventually become a serious wine-consuming country. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, so customers who may be shopping for something else will now be able to purchase wine just as easily if they live in the 45 states where this is legal (including New York). Traditionally, wine had to be sold through a “three-tier” system of supplier (winery), distributor (wholesaler) and retailer (wine store or restaurant) which was economically infeasible for small wineries and the many consumers who wanted to buy their products. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling which liberalized the ability for wine producers and authorized businesses to ship directly to consumers. While most states have amended their laws to facilitate this, a few still do not allow it—reflecting the economically counterproductive states rights’ philosophy of the Repeal of Prohibition that has created 50 different systems within the United States. Direct shipment has given consumers many more choices than they had before.

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