This is going to be a bit of a rant but I must say I am very frustrated with Maryland's strict laws on wine distribution. I have been doing a lot of reading up on the wine blogs and have been interested in many of the recommended wines for tasting. While in most states you could simply order most of these wines online from the distributer, in Maryland its considered a felony....a FELONY! Why? Well, of course teenagers will simply order wine online. Now I was a teenager once and the last way I would have ever thought to buy my alcohol was from some fancy vineyard in Napa Valley. Even if I had known that was an option I still would not have paid even $12.00 for one bottle of wine, paid for the shipping cost, and then waited a week. Seriously, I'd do what most teenagers did and send someone who IS 21 to pick up a case of Natural Light. If we really wanted wine then surely one of our parents had some box wine we could sneak. Well, what about the other argument for the law in Maryland? There are those that feel that buying wines online would decrease business for local retailers. Fair enough, but if you ask me and most of my friends who don't have wine cellars there is still going to be business at the wine and liquor stores. We are simply spontaneous people. I don't often have the wherewithal to stock up on wine sometimes. I would still have the need to drop in the store and would generally do that more often than not. My gripe is that in learning about wine from different regions it would be nice to order from places directly at times. Hell, I'd love to go to these various regions and be able to purchase wine from the vineyards and transport it back to Maryland with me, but guess what? That's not happening either.
So what's the deal with this crazy law business? Well its called the three-tier system of alcohol distribution.
What can we do about it? Write our representatives and tell them what you think. I am including an easy formatted letter from "Free the Grapes" to make things simple below.
Thanks for hearing me out. Now I'd love to hear your thoughts!