Hic, hic, hooray!

A federal judge has ruled a state law banning Massachusetts residents from buying wine from most out-of-state wineries is illegal.

Judge Rya Zobel of U.S. District Court in Boston ruled that the law violates the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution because it lets all Massachusetts wineries to sell locally but blocks 98% of non-Massachusetts wineries from the local market for no good reason the court could discern (or words to that effect).

Her decision is on a suit filed by a group of California winemakers.

Read Zobel's decision.



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      Hear Hear! (raises glass)

      By on

      On one hand, this is great, as I never see, unless I'm in a restaurant around the corner from a MA winery, good, local wines. On the other hand, CA is Big Wine.

      Ultimately, I hope this helps NY wineries, WA and Oregon ones, and, heck, even the random winery or two in Maine (north of a certain point, grapes don't grow, so there's an amazing cottage industry in ciders and fruit wines that mimic grape wines here).

      (Sorry about the punctuation. I think I'm comma-addicted.)

      Voting is closed. 4


      By on


      Adam asked about Orson Welles shots in another thread, but I thouight it more germane to include this here.

      Voting is closed. 4

      Good call

      You can't legislate the free market. I guess MA wineries will have to try harder to make better wine.

      Personally, I'd voluntarily patronize the locals if I drank wine, but I'm clearly in the minority.

      Voting is closed. 3

      There's a good wachusett

      By on

      There's a good wachusett area winery (good luck in finding it in Boston), as well as an amazing Cape Cod one, as well. (only get their really good white with dinner when in P=town for my birthday in January.)

      Voting is closed. 2


      By on

      In reading the ruling this afternoon, I was amused to see that one of the louder opponents was the majority owner in Nashoba Valley Winery. He tries to make a convincing case that his winery would suffer as a result of the influx from "Big Wine". Perhaps, but his winery wouldn't really be affected in that Nashoba deals almost primarily in fruit wines, which are categorized separately than grape-based wines. By virtue of that distinction, Nashoba still has a decided advantage in the local marketplace. If that's the type of wine the consumer wants, loosening the rules is not going to change that. But for the rest of us who would like to buy a case of that one type of special wine that the wholesaler has deemed unworthy of its efforts to stock - haha! (add your best Nelson Munson voice)

      Voting is closed. 11


      My brother has tried to have wine from oregon shipped to me directly, and has been told that "we can't do that because Massachusetts has bizarre liquor laws". I'll be sure to tell him that he should try again soon!

      That said, MA does have some good local wineries. Their business won't be impacted by this so much as local wine distributors will. Which is good, because I rather like a bit of Westport Rivers most fine bubbly to ring in the New Year.

      Voting is closed. 1