House Resolution 5034, introduced by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), is supposed to be heard in June before the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Michigan’s John Conyers. If you don’t know, Michigan was the losing plaintiff in Granholm v. Heald, the 2005 case that liberalized wine shipments, and the NBWA was one of Rep. Conyers’ top five donors in the last two elections. HR 5034 would exempt anti-competitive and discriminatory state alcohol beverage laws from most federal review, including capacity cap laws. In other words, states could freely write laws making it difficult or impossible for consumers to get direct shipments of wine from wineries within and outside their state. If it passed, HR 5034 would be a complete reversal…

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Have you recently visited an out-of-state winery and wanted a case sent home, only to be told it's illegal? Confused by wine shipping laws? You're not alone. First let me say that I support the right of wine retailers, wholesalers and distributors to exist and make a living. The idea that we could or should just toss aside the three-tier system and buy all our wine, as the Brits might say, via "the post" is neither practical nor fair for all concerned. Having said that, wineries simply ought to be able to ship directly to consumers, too, with few or no restrictions and with as little administrative burden as possible. For small wineries that cannot command the attention and shelf…

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