Grape idea comes to fruition: Mass. residents will get right to buy wine directly from out-of-state wineries

It only took the legislature six years to comply with a federal court order. But don't place those orders just yet - the new regs don't take effect until January. And that gives Big Liquor plenty of time to try to figure out how to continue to squelch things.

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    I Chianti believe the

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    I Chianti believe the legislature did something smart for once.

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    What about all the other mail

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    What about all the other mail order stuff Coakley has arbitrarily banned with consumer protection powers? Can we get that stuff too?

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    Let's start with

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    Cigarettes, fireworks, knives, throwing stars, mace, BB guns etc

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    Any items which requires a

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    Any items which requires a local/state permit to sell here faces the same issues as mail order wine did prior the legislature's followup action. It's not illegal to ship the items to MA residents by state law and in accordance with interstate commerce statutes. But nonetheless the AG's office with threaten any company which ships those items to MA residents with legal action. Presumably it is to protect local businesses and collect sales taxes.

    It's a case of making something technically legal illegal in a state where being illegal is technically legal. /headache

    Why is the alcohol industry

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    Why is the alcohol industry in MA the most protected in our state? We cant have happy hours because it would be a "race to the bottom" for bars losing money selling cheaper drinks, we cant get beer and wine at most supermarkets because it would make too much competition for Blanchards and other liquor stores, and we cant buy wine directly from wineries because then how do the middlemen (liquor stores) control what we drink. Why are they so special, I can buy eggs where I want from whom I want and they can sell them for as low as they want.

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    Jealousy of our northern

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    Jealousy of our northern "free state" neighbor's socialist state run liquor monopoly?

    One of the great questions of our time.

    It seems intricate.

    Among my wild guesses.

    Old Puritan foundation for the moral smoke screen.

    (Even though the Puritans were incorrigible drunks.)

    Post Prohibition clannish nepotism finds another roost.

    Possibilities for squeeze at those town and city scale spawning grounds for the bigger fish that one day swim in the Beacon Hill pond before ending up on ice in the prison system.

    An inner pessimism from the depression and more recent cycles of economic malady and flight to the sun belt that led to lots of legislative make work and who ya know perks as a hedge against failure to attain prosperity in more laudable ways.

    And when the cycle inevitably lurches toward prosperity, there is rarely much effort to adjust the legislative fixes to something less sclerotic. Our legislative architecture is often a kind of core sample of past hand wringings and pocket pickings.

    I think of it as a kind of ecosystem with a certain dynamism rather than a mechanistic thing.

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    The MA happy hour ban had nothing to do with Puritanism or

    a "race to the bottom" or nepotism or any of those other quaint theories. Legislation banning drinks-discounting happy hours was passed in the early 80s as the result of a grassroots movement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and was aimed solely at curbing drunk-driving deaths.

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    I wasn't even considering that side..

    My speculation is solely limited to the narrower area of the booze distribution issues. Particularly distribution level booze biz.

    The part of the ecosystem that involves public effort to curb the effects of a morose sloppy drunk culture is a different area.

    At the end of the day, booze sorta sux and sux more as you age and this is from a guy who was a wine salesman at John Gilbert when it was next door to the Mouse Trap Cabaret.

    It is kinder gentler paint thinner.

    And when drunk massholes flail and wipe out harmless families, the public outcry is inevitable and welcome since the Beacon Hill fish are unlikely to rock that boat without some real prodding.

    Grassroots agitation is the usual route to anything noteworthy as the Beacon Hillbillies need to be led by those rings in their noses.

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    Today , all the products you

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    Today , all the products you see in a packy are owned by just a few companies , like Diageo or Pernod or Constellation brands. In turn, they have distributors that service accounts , big or small. They have to carry all the stuff , cant cherry pick the items that sell fast , have to carry the dogs too . Plus , they have to order big, at least by the container, sometimes more. Some stuff doesnt ship in the winter , so they have to buy by the boat dates. It not as simple as getting a case when needed by UPS.

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    I can't help but feel like

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    I can't help but feel like focusing on the drunk part instead of the driving part isn't entirely fair. Massachusetts (not just Boston, but especially Boston) has ample opportunity to become more walkable, and if people don't drive to the bar then that severely limits the risk of drunk driving. Of course, it's vastly easier to change alcohol law than build the infrastructure needed to make cities more walkable, so I see what MADD was thinking, but maybe there could be a way to allow cities to loosen their alcohol law when they become sufficiently walkable.

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    YAAAAY!

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    Made my weekend.

    If anyone wants to celebrate by *cough* orderingmeacaseofthis- http://tinyurl.com/mtxubnn

    well, I won't stop you.

    Oh thank ${deity}

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    Oh thank ${deity}. I've been shipping wine to my parents' place right across the border into CT for years. It's a huge pain for everyone involved (me, my rum-runner parents, the winery doing the shipping), and MA loses out on collecting sales tax on it. It is the stupidest goddamn law I have ever heard of, and I am glad to finally be rid of it.

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    Why I never!

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    Get out of here, you uncouth disgusting beer drinker! Only the wine drinkers have the necessary appreciation of alcohol to be allowed this honor!

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    Harumphhhh !

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    Next thing you know they'll be demanding supermarket, variety, and drug stores be allowed to sell beer and wine! Or hard liquor!! This is Massachusetts! We don't copy willy nilly what other states do! Harumph! There are ample estsblishments in the commonwealth that will sell you wine,beer and liquor. No need to muddy the waters. My God, think of the liquor store owners! Won't anyone think of the liquor store owners!?

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    Yes, you have

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    And maybe even supermarkets (hint: Roche Bros. in Westwood and Wegmans in Newton). The issue there is food stores aren't allowed to own more than three liquor licenses in the entire state.

    Limited Distributors

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    Years ago I read that Massachusetts only has two liquor distributors and all products must go through them. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to have to go into one of their offices to take a look at some office furniture. There were dozens of display cases displaying the CEO with every politician imaginable up to the then president, George Bush. It helped me understand why liquor laws in this state are so archaic.

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    Liquor is one tier

    ..then beer with a somewhat different distribution structure and then wine which has a number of odd little distributors,

    This is what became of John Gilbert. They are in Medford.

    http://www.idealwine.us/

    I think a few friends of mine may still be there but I don't drink.

    Martignettis is another under some DBA.

    It's all pretty byzantine.

    The buzz kill

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    is that I don't think the legislation addresses the real issue, which is that MA law requires carriers to license each vehicle that will deliver alcohol separately, rather than providing for a fleet-wide license. If UPS has a thousand brown trucks in MA, it would be required to apply for, procure, and manage a thousand individual licenses. UPS, FedEx, and presumably the USPS have said that they won't deal with it and simply refuse to accept alcohol for delivery into MA.

    I hope I'm wrong, but my guess is that this will effectively neuter the legislation and keeps us the status quo of non-delivery.