The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Direct to consumer wine bill - what happened

This seems to be the never-ending story, a real up hill battle to give Marylanders the right to purchase wine direct. Maryland has some very antiquated liquor laws and this is one of them. Below is where the bill stands now and how you can help-it's simple.

Committee Chairman Dereck E. Davis, a Prince George's County Democrat, said … that he thought his committee would this year again reject the direct-to-consumers wine bill, largely out of concern that it would make it easier for minors to access alcohol.
-- Baltimore Sun, 2/24/09 “
Bill to restrict sale of 'alcopops' stirs heated debate

Unless we mobilize and get focused on getting these two bills moving within the next two weeks, they will die an untimely 10th (?) death in the legislative committees in which they are heard. For those unfamiliar with Annapolis politics – of which I am one – the committees have the power to kill the bills through any number of means, and our voices are usually not at the table because we don’t have lobbyists paid to be there. Maryland consumers wonder why they can purchase narcotics, fireworks, pornography and ammunition delivered directly to their door but not a bottle of wine. The simple answer is the lobbying force presented by the opponents of this legislation.

You must provide that counterbalance! Our opponents would have our legislators believe that minors will be ordering liquor with which to get drunk through the direct ship program despite that not happening in the other 34 states that allow direct shipment. In fact, the number of infractions for underage drinking in Anne Arundel County (130 in 2007) far outnumbers the total number of documented cases of minors directly receiving alcohol in the other states that comprise 80% of the American population. If retailers are so good at checking ID, and UPS or FedEx are so ill-equipped, then why were there so many infractions?

What can you do to help?There are two very, very important women in Annapolis: Senator Joan Carter Conway and Delegate Mary Ann Love. They need to hear from their constituents that passage of this legislation is vital to them. Please contact Senator Conway and Delegate Love or ask your friends who live in their districts to do so. Their contact information:

Senator Joan Carter Conway(410) 841-3145 or 800-492-7122, ext. 3145e-mail:

Delegate Mary Ann Love(410) 841-3511 or 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3511 (toll free)e-mail:

Please also contact me soon as possible to learn how to help out in as little as 10 minutes a day, or else you too will be reading the post-script on direct wine shipping legislation yet again in the Baltimore Sun or your local paper.

Tastefully yours,
Adam Borden
Executive DirectorMarylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws

Earlier stories on this subject: Buy wines direct-you can make a difference, Senator Raskin's bill would "free" the grapes in Maryland,and Win a bottle of 03 Mondavi Opus One

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