Editors Note: since this category's inclusion,
the rules for interstate wine purchases in the USA have finally "mellowed."
Meanwhile, see below for more on what all
the fuss was about leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, which finally struck down Prohibition-era
wine laws that had - up until 2005 - prevented interstate wine sales...
There are many local laws and restrictions
that govern the sale of alcohol both on and off line. Some laws are aimed at protecting youth
from alcohol. Some regulations govern the way wines can be produced, the amount of alcohol and
the use of additives in the wine making and bottling processes to safeguard consumers. Many target
foreign wines to protect the grape growers and wine producers.
Many laws are in place to protect an appellation
or guard a regional reputation. Familiar ones are that sparkling wines not from the Champagne
region of France may not call themselves champagne and that a merlot that was not grown and bottled
in Bordeaux cannot claim the regional name. The winegrowers in California's Napa Valley are protected
against other's use of their regional name on wine labels. These Appellation contrôlée
(AC) laws are strictly enforced in Europe and have generated quite a bit of friction between old
world and new world wine makers. Wines such as California and New York State Champagnes make EU
winemakers see red.
federal regulations that restrict wine shipments between states
have spawned very vocal consumer protest.
The Internet has added
a spin to the controversy: shoppers nationwide are accustomed
to the convenience of online ordering and shipping. Meanwhile,
the rules are clouded by some states - but not all - having reciprocal
shipping agreements. Join the fray as the Wine
& Spirits Wholesalers of America shout 'protect our youth!'
while consumers argue for free wine trade from Maine to California....
More about wine laws & regulations around the Web:
Free the Grapes! - Consumer groups and wine associations
team up to do battle in a position statement and summary, an automatic
letter generator to local legislators, background information,
news and updates, and a free e-newsletter.
Wine Shipments - One stop browsing for U.S. rules and
regulations for interstate wine shipments, a state-by-state rundown
of who ships where, a separate directory of state enforcement
agencies, an extensive FAQ, and links to breaking news and developments.
Wine & Brandy Corporation - Production and Exporting - This is the
place to find anything to do with wine regulations in Australia.
It has detailed sections on the plain English labeling act, food
standards, wine production, levies and more...