Thursday, October 08, 2015
VM: "Hey, it's Whatchamacallit's birthday, can you send him/her a bottle of TWWIAGE Cabernet Sauvignon?"
VG: "No, I can't."
VM: "Why can't you?"
VG: "Because I'd be committing a felony if I shipped a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon to Whosit in, e.g., Pennsylvania."
VM: "Well, that's stupid!"
Yes, it would be a felony for me to ship wine into Pennsylvania and, yes, it is stupid. But that is the current state of affairs when trying to navigate the shipping/distribution laws in the US.
Tonight's wine marketing class concentrated on the unique, and arcane, wine distribution system in the United States. Simply put, the 'three-tier system' came into existence with the repeal of Prohibition (in 1933) which gave each state control over the sale and distribution of alcohol, (the three-tier system refers to the producers, distributors and retailers of wine). And that is the way it continues to work to this day, with no real incentive to change the system in the states where the distributor has a monopoly (and the politicians like the status quo). So, no, Thingamajig cannot have a birthday bottle of wine: I like my liberty too much.
It is much less complicated, in the US, to make wine than sell it.