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Wine Spectator reports on the ongoing debate in the US House of Representatives over H.R. 5034, or the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010, which “would give states stronger powers to restrict and possibly block direct shipping of wine.”

According to the story, the bill “would give states the opportunity to reverse five years of winery-to-consumer direct shipping legislation dating back to the Supreme Court's landmark Granholm decision, which ruled that state alcohol distribution laws cannot discriminate between in- and out-of-state wineries. H.R. 5034 would put the Constitution's 21st Amendment, which gives states control over alcohol sales, above the Commerce Clause, which forbids restrictions on interstate trade.”

Lack of time and other, more pressing priorities mean that it is unlikely that the Congress will get to any sort of vote on H.R. 5034 during this session, but it is seen as likely that proponents will try to bring it back in 2011.

Supporters of the new bill say that they are dissatisfied with the level of alcohol regulation under the current rules, and especially are concerned that minors have greater access to booze because they only need a credit card as opposed to ID.

Opponents, on the other hand, say that going back to the old regulatory framework would once again give too much power to wholesalers, who until relatively recently were able to control what products were available to retailers and their customers. Direct shipping of wine eliminates that problem, to some degree...and also makes product cheaper to some degree.
KC's View:
Any change in the current law is designed to only help wholesalers, and is total nonsense.

Anyone who thinks that minors can order alcohol over the internet and get it delivered without showing ID aren’t paying attention. My experience - and I order wine from a number of wineries around the country - is that no matter what delivery service brings it to the door, if I am not there to sign for it, they won't leave it. (And I am clearly a little older than 21.) They won’t leave it with my kids, and won’t even leave it at the neighbor’s. Half the time, I end up trekking to the UPS office, where they always check my ID.

Allowing wine shipping all over the country helps small businesses, consumers, and ultimately helps any retailer that sells wine, because it helps to educate the shopper and expand their palates.