Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Liquor lobby ain't going to like this

A bill to "allow" producers and consumers of wine to ship wine directly to consumers will again be introduced in the General Assembly. I wish Senator Stanley well. He will be fighting an uphill battle against a very powerful liquor lobby.

In most cases like this, where government is used by one business group to prevent competition from another business group, government becomes little more than institutionalized corruption.


A growing number of wine makers and consumers in Georgia and Tennessee are waiting and hoping their state direct shipping laws, which prohibit the shipping of wine and the violation of which is a felony, will change in the next legislative session, wine makers say.

Middlemen fight change

In both states, direct-to-consumer shipping measures proposed this year were successfully opposed by distributors and wholesalers who don't want to be cut out as middlemen for the wine and liquor industries, said Tennessee State Sen. Paul Stanley, R-Germantown.

Other contentions against changing the law, he said, are that a lack of oversight would open the way to underage drinking and the loss of tax dollars.

Still, Sen. Stanley said he plans to propose a direct-shipping bill in the next session.

Patty Prouty, owner of Georgia Winery in Ringgold, Ga., said she hopes that legislators eventually will get together and say direct shipping is the will of the people.