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Supreme Court Allows Direct Shipment of Wine 448

Posted by timothy
from the drink-up dept.
jrrl writes "For a while now, ordering wine (of the alcoholic variety, not the almost 0.9 variety) online has been a somewhat dicey proposition in some states. But today, the Supreme Court overturned state laws that disallowed direct shipment of wine from out of state. Their reasoning is that the states' 'authority to regulate the sale of alcohol within their borders' under the 21st Amendment does not supersede 'the Constitution's ban on state discrimination against interstate commerce.' States could still disallow all direct shipments, but at least they have to be evenhanded now."
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Supreme Court Allows Direct Shipment of Wine

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  • by Chordonblue (585047) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:30PM (#12550566) Journal
    Anyone else glance at the title and think: What the hell would a state have to do with non-emulation?

  • Commerce Clause (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geomon (78680) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:31PM (#12550579) Homepage Journal
    The rationale for getting rid of this holdover from alcohol prohibition is the Commerce Clause and the discriminatory application of the laws. It is about time that the government allows me to make adult decisions for myself.

    Michigan isn't satisfied and is proposing banning all over-the-net wine orders on the flimsy reasoning that kids will be able to buy booze without government control.

    When you have a weak argument, tell them you are legislating "to save the children".
    • Re:Commerce Clause (Score:5, Informative)

      by drmerope (771119) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:42PM (#12550647)
      Actually the result of this ruling is that states must ban all--regardless of origin--direct to consumer sales if they block them at all.

      The supreme court merely ruled that states could not treat intra-state state sales differently from out of state sales.

      The ruling preserves state control over this issue as long as the policy doesn't discriminate against out of state sellers.

      see: http://www.professorbainbridge.com/2005/05/supreme _court_s.html [professorbainbridge.com]
    • Re:Commerce Clause (Score:5, Informative)

      by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:59PM (#12550755)
      I'm not sure you've understood the ruling. There is indeed a "holdover from alcohol prohibition [cornell.edu]" written into the amendment that repealed it that allows States to regulate [cornell.edu] the sale and "importation" of alcohol, and that right of the States hasn't been repealed here. (Nor does the Supreme Court have the power to render one part of the Constitution "unconstitutional". Well, there's one case where it does, but this isn't it.) What the Supremes did here was to interpret the Commerce Clause to forbid States from regulating imported alcohol (from out-of-State) any differently than they do locally produced alcohol.

      It's fundamental to the way the US economic system was set up that the States are prohibited from acting in a protective manner over their industries with regard to other States. You can't charge a tarriff, for example, when you import cars into California from Detroit. What a State can do is regulate the way something is sold within its borders. It seems to me Section 2 of the 21st Amendment was put there to overcome objections from those States that wanted to remain dry after Prohibition was repealed for everyone else. I think the Supremes are holding them to this. States are still allowed to prohibit mail-order booze -- but they must prohibit all of it, not allow it from in-state producers and not those from out-of-state. Many of these laws (IIRC) were frankly written to protect local wine producers. That ain't allowed.

      I agree that Michigan's desired ban seems silly. But if that's what they want, they can have it. The idea that people have the right and responsibility to mostly regulate their own local affairs as they see fit is basic to our federal system. That's why we have a federal government and not a national government. (It's been acting more like the latter than the former lately. That's no reason to wish it could when we want it to -- to, say, force Michigan to allow Internet wine sales -- and similtaneously wish it wouldn't when we don't -- in, for example, the way some "homeland security" issues are being handled.)

    • Re:Commerce Clause (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Deadstick (535032) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:21PM (#12550891)
      It has nothing to do with making decisions for you, and everything to do with collecting money. California has loads of small wineries that market their goods online. If you're a distributor in, say, Ohio, you could distribute their product, but for the small number of cases they ship, it wouldn't be worth the effort -- it's much more efficient to distribute wine that comes in trainloads. But every case the indies ship to Ohio is a case you don't sell -- so it's in your interest to stop those cases at the Indiana line. And it's in the state's interest too, because liquor taxes are big and it's difficult to collect them on online sales.

      There's an analogous situation here in Colorado: you can't buy a bottle of liquor on Sunday. The state isn't banning it to save your soul; you're welcome to drink your way to perdition in a bar. The reason? Sunday closing is much more harmful to total by-the-drink sales than it is to total package sales, and business overhead is substantially higher for a 7-day store than for a 6-day store. So bars stay open on Sunday, liquor stores close, and they're both happy. Every attempt to repeal the Sunday-closing law is shot down by the liquor business.

      Same deal on cars, by the way...you can't buy a car on Sunday, and John Elway Toyota wouldn't have it any other way.

      rj

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:32PM (#12550585)
    Actually, if you live in Maryland (or many of the other impacted states), this is a long overdue, worthy development. I'm just waiting for the state to cut its own nose off, and ban the shipment of wine including that of the (marginal) local wineries.

    Never the less, I expect that those of us that build e-commerce web sites will have a few hundred brand new - if slightly tipsy - customers. With the patchwork shipping problem gone, many of the smaller operations will now consider it worth getting into the game. Thank you, Supreme Court, for doing the right thing on this. Cheers!
    • Actually, this ruling will affect only Michigan and New York. I live in Indiana, where shipping is still illegal. The reasoning is that they are discriminating between out-of-state and in-state wineries; they must apply the same laws to each. I RTFA. They also explained this on the local news - it will affect Michigan residents, but Indiana's laws will remain in effect.
  • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:33PM (#12550587) Homepage
    In Oregon, where I come from, this is great news that wine drinkers will understand. This is a big win for QUALITY small wine makers, but really will not make that much difference to the E and G crowd.

    But consider this: It is a big loss for "states rights", because it says that states have no right to control interstate commerce that passes through their borders.

    • by John Seminal (698722) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:38PM (#12550619) Journal
      But consider this: It is a big loss for "states rights", because it says that states have no right to control interstate commerce that passes through their borders.

      States never, ever had the right to regulate interstate commerce. That power is reserved for congress.

      The reason why is when we had the Articles of Confederation, every state regulated commerce, and it was a clusterfuck. It was like dealing with foriegn nations, all with their own tarrifs and trade policies.

      This law has nothing to do with state rights, because it was never a state rights issue.

    • States have never had the right to control strictly interstate commerce. The Constitution says that outright, granting that power to the Federal government, not the states. That's what the Court recognized here. This isn't to say the states can't regulate commerce in wine or alcoholic beverages in general. They can apply any rules they want to the sale of wines, it's just that only the Federal government can create rules that apply specifically to wines shipped between states. If the state wants to make a l

    • But consider this: It is a big loss for "states rights", because it says that states have no right to control interstate commerce that passes through their borders.

      The states can still regulate the sale of alcohol within their borders.

      They are just prohibited from applying the law in a manner that is discriminatory to out-of-state vendors.
    • I don't get why it even matters. I mean, why should wine be any different than computer equipment, condoms, flowers or pepperidge farms gift baskets? Why should any of them be restricted (or for that matter, why shouldn't ALL of them be restricted).
      • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:50PM (#12550701)
        I don't get why it even matters. I mean, why should wine be any different than computer equipment, condoms, flowers or pepperidge farms gift baskets? Why should any of them be restricted (or for that matter, why shouldn't ALL of them be restricted).

        It doesn't matter, and that's the point that the Supreme Court just hammered home. The real essence of this is that a state can do a lot of things to regulate what (and how) things can be sold in their state, but they can't do so in a way that discriminates against people in other states (people, in this case, being winemakers selling across the border). So, you can let everyone sell wine, or no one. But the patchwork of crazy regulations was definately restricting commerce in an asymmetrical (and unconstitutional) way.
    • And I can only hope that this continues to include beer as well.

      The stigma of 'shitty American beer' could be brought low in short order if people had access to some of the fine brews coming out of Washington and Oregon. Some of the best spirits come from small, passionate producers, and eliminating the mass distribution requirement only encourages good product. We've got some of the best hops and brewers in the world around here, and nobody but the locals know it.

      Oh shit, I've said too much. Don't co
  • So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by poopdeville (841677) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:33PM (#12550593)
    I'm not trying to troll here, I just don't see how this is nerdy, relevant, or important at all. Sure, this is good for interstate commerce, but the federal government has had a strong record of opening that up anyway. All I can see happening because of this is teen lushes in Pennsylvania getting wasted on Napa Valley wine without their parents knowing.

    Please, if you're more insightful than me, explain what the "broader" issue is.
    • Re:So what? (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by grasshoppa (657393)
      Why is anything relating to beer considered Slashdot material, yet something relating to rights of products purchased over the internet not slashdot material when it references wine?
    • Re:So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SB5 (165464) <freebirdpat AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:55PM (#12550730)
      Teen lushes in Pennsylvania have no trouble finding liquor or beer. They did a survey or something to find out where kids got their alcohol, most of it came from parents or friends. Which just goes to show that parents or friends approve of kids of certain ages drinking. And frankly kids usually don't even like wine, and you can get alcohol shipped via mail.

      My Dad's friend actually had 2 cases of wine sent to my Aunt's house while we were on vacation there because it was easier and cheaper since you couldn't get it from the state store, even by ordering it.

      The law only seems to affect larger orders, unlike what kids order, kids don't go and order 12 bottles of wine. And if they want one bottle of wine, they could buy it off e-bay or some crap. Shipping 1 bottle is not a real problem because who would want to complain about one bottle being shipped, its like stopping someone for going just 1 mph over the amount a police officer can stop you at, its being a dick and a nitpick.
    • Re:So what? (Score:3, Informative)

      by sugar and acid (88555)
      No actually what it says is that Pennsylvania can't stop delivery of wine from californian distributers or wineries if it lets pennsylvanian distributers or wineries deliver wine. Pennsylvania can outright ban all home delivery of wine, local or from across the country but it can't favor local wine merchants and producers. They can "protect the children" that way if they wish to legislate it.

      Now why is it on slashdot? I guess one of the editors likes wine.

      I like it because it provides the opportunity to g
    • Actually, not everyone who wanted this is a "teen lush" wanting to get wasted without their parents knowing about it.

      It's been a big gripe of mine for several years that I was unable to get certain wines (meads, mostly) that I wanted because it was illegal to ship them to my home.

      Now I can finally get it again without having to futz with convincing the local stores to order it for me.
  • by stimpleton (732392) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:33PM (#12550595)
    Is there a thriving business driving wooden barrells of wine over state borders in the USA? With the old trucks, and stetson hats and tommy guns?

    Does the book keeper come along too?

    OK, so my visualisation is a little close to the rediculous, but where I come from, nuclear weapons might get you in trouble.

    But a bottle of 1986 Shiraz?
  • by CSMastermind (847625) <freight_train10@hotmail.com> on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:34PM (#12550600)
    I was so expecting to see an article about a Windows Emulator...I'm offically a hopeless nerd. Heh anyway...

    My parents own a bar in Ohio. You know you'd be surprised the amount of laws there still are about these kind of things. I'm happy to see that these steps are being taken but really it makes one wonder about the state of interstate commerce.
  • by John Seminal (698722) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:35PM (#12550605) Journal
    Their reasoning is that the states' 'authority to regulate the sale of alcohol within their borders' under the 21st Amendment does not supersede 'the Constitution's ban on state discrimination against interstate commerce

    That is plain wrong.

    The constitution grants congress the power to regulate interstate commerce.

    A law regulating internet sale of alcohol will originate in congress. They might give some of the regulatory rights to states. Then it would be legal.

    • Actually, no... they were right. Aside from the fact that they are the Supreme Court, the issue was various states' laws about the interstate sale of alcohol. It didn't have a thing to do the with Internet per se... even if the Internet will be the major vehicle for such sales. Those laws allowed for intrastate sales, but not those from out of state. Only Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce (not the states), as such those laws were ruled to be discriminatory and protectionist.

      And si
    • by Petrox (525639) <{ude.uyn} {ta} {205pp}> on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:52PM (#12551088) Homepage
      Actually, the question was about the interpretation of the 21st amendment to the Constitution, which repealed the 18th amendment and thereby ended Prohibition.

      Section 2 of the 21 amendment allows states to regulate the interstate commerce of wine to some extent (the extent of which was at issue today):

      2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

      The question then is not whether states can regulate the importation of wine, but the extent of the states' power to declare which importation is "in violation of the laws thereof." The Supreme Court held today that this was intended to reflect the intent of the framers of this amendment that the normal dormant commerce clause analysis was to apply, that is, states can't discriminate against the products of other states but may generally regulate interstate commerce if done without discrimination and for a valid purpose (here, provided by the 21st amendment itself).

      IAAL.

  • by mattmentecky (799199) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:35PM (#12550606)
    Maybe its the snarkish nature of me, but minus the Internet part....doesnt this seem like a court case that should have been decided in the...oh say, 1800s?
    • try 1930 something (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nf1nk (443791)
      This case settles a conflict between the interstate commerece clause and the 21st amendment Passed February 20, 1933.
      Section 2.

      The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

      well that alows states to regulate the transport of booze in their borders, but many states NY in particular were using this to bolster local wineries at the expense of out of st
  • i know, i hate adequacy and appropriateness trolls as much as the next

    but seriously, this story is pretty far off the mark of slashdot's focus, no?

    am i missing something?
    • by John Seminal (698722) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:42PM (#12550646) Journal
      i know, i hate adequacy and appropriateness trolls as much as the next

      but seriously, this story is pretty far off the mark of slashdot's focus, no?

      am i missing something?

      Every IT person I know is also a wine nut. I guess programming and drinking large quantities of wine go hand in hand.

      Edit that... Drinking large quantities of cheap wine that you convince everyone is better than the expensive wine. I had one buddy who went crazy over Chilean wines. He kept claiming their $8 dollar a bottle reds were better than most $30 dollar a bottle reds here in the states.

      Then again, I guess to read his code you would have to be drunk. It is the cypher.

    • I can't help but to think that any time any part of any level of government takes away the notion that another part of government can overstep its bounds... it's got to be a good thing.

      I wish that someone would take the Feds to task on their belief that they somehow have jurisdiction if someone grows pot in his closet.

      The Federal government goes so far beyond its Constitutional mandate it makes me sick. It's as though the executive and legislature have had someone rip the 10th Amendment out of their pock
  • by Black-Man (198831) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:38PM (#12550624)
    Kennedy, Scalia, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer... what a majority.

    John Paul Stevens and Clarence Thomas against!?! When was the last time they were on the same side of the fence?

    Maybe this court isn't as political as some seem to believe.

  • Gun control? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SerialHistorian (565638) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:41PM (#12550638)
    the constitution's "ban on state discrimination against interstate commerce.'" Interesting. Does that mean that gun control laws that ban interstate sale of firearms or requires exchange only by licensed dealers are also unconstitutional?
  • by ptbarnett (159784) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:42PM (#12550648)
    But, a bill was just enacted and signed by the governor on 5/9 (and effective immediately) to change that:

    SB 877 [state.tx.us]

    Reading the text of the enacted bill:

    Enrolled version [state.tx.us]

    It looks like shipping direct to consumers from in-state wineries was also illegal, so perhaps the Supreme Court decision wouldn't have changed anything.

  • So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Why does this stuff matter to nerds?
  • by ShatteredDream (636520) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:43PM (#12550657) Homepage
    Thomas' dissent was about respecting the laws that congress had already established, the written letter of the constitution and the "protecting minors" angle that the states supposedly had. Beside the obvious fact that protecting minors was never a factor in this regulatory area, Thomas does indirectly invoke a good question. Where does too much freedom become a problem?

    I happen to believe that morality means nothing when not imposed from within. Law and order can only accomplish so much and history has shown that the states that care about peace and that leave the matters of personal morality like sex and drug use to the church to deal with are the states that have the most peace. That's why some of us believe that the state's goal should be to maximize freedom to the highest extent without undermining law and order, even if many of the people don't want it.

    For libertarians, this makes sense. Why not be able to have both unfettered school prayer AND legal drug use by adults? Isn't society better off when the individual is free and the government has a few defined tasks that it specializes on rather than becoming some monstrosity that has 50 bazillion departments that regulate everything from littering to education to the hair cut a toy poodle can have on sunday? Sometimes what the people want isn't moral or legal as it infringes on the rights of others without cause.

    There was no good reason to keep people from being able to buy wine from other states directly. Part of the goal of the establishment of the federal government was to turn the states into a free trade zone. That's why the federal government has the exclusive authority to regulate interestate commerce. The "will of the people" had to bow to the law, and sometimes doing that actually makes the people freer than they may want to admit.

    Part of the reason we have a constitution is that our founders did not believe that the will of the people often should be followed... and for good reason. It was the will of most whites for much of our history to keep blacks down. It was the will of most Germans to elect Hitler. Go down the line and you'll see that good men and women backed by good laws, not a democratic process, have carried the day for freedom and justice.
    • I happen to believe that morality means nothing when not imposed from within.

      OK. Agreed.

      Why not be able to have both unfettered school prayer AND legal drug use by adults?

      We have legal school prayer. The only issue is whether an authority acting in government capacity can lead it or not. But of course, that's not "morality being imposed". That's only the government telling you how to pray. Completely different.

      Isn't society better off when the individual is free and the government has a few defined tasks that it specializes on rather than becoming some monstrosity that has 50 bazillion departments that regulate everything from littering to education to the hair cut a toy poodle can have on sunday?

      Where's the poodle part? Not aware of that. The government has evolved to be big. How would you know how large it should be? Oh that's right, you're making practical decisions based on idealogical principles! How silly of me! We don't need any evidence that it could work in a modern society! Count me in!

      It was the will of most whites for much of our history to keep blacks down.

      For the first ones, it really depends on how you define "most". In 1861 (over 100 years ago, thus further than over half our history ago), a man was elected president from a new party founded on the basis of abolishing slavery. He recieved most of the popular vote. Most of the founding fathers were against slavery in principle, but saw no way out of it (many freed their slaves after their death).

      It was the will of most Germans to elect Hitler.

      Hitler never got the majority of the popular vote so I fail to see how that's most. His high was somewhere around 1/3. In fact, if the laws written in the Weimar constitution were actually followed, Hitler would've never had vast sweeping powers. But Hitler decided he didn't need a big government making laws and abolished the government by fiat He could do it himself! I guess you and he do have something in common!

      (As a caveat, disolving the representitive body in England caused a civil war a few hundred years ago. The Germans had no such response in the 1930's, so maybe I'll give you popular acquiescence, but no doubt caused by popular fear).

      Seriously, I enjoy your principles, but where you go with it and how you derive it are simply ranting. If I want sensationalism, I'll watch Jerry Springer.
  • by [ByteMe] (145131) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:44PM (#12550671)
    This ruling might be good news for some folks in the long term, but in the short term at least it doesn't help folks in Maryland (and from what I can tell most other states). The existing state laws here don't contradict the USSC requirements.

    Useful links:
    Wine Institute pages on interstate wine shipping:
    http://www.wineinstitute.org/shipwine/ [wineinstitute.org]

    US Wine shipping laws, state-by-state, from Wine Institute data
    http://wi.shipcompliant.com/Home.aspx [shipcompliant.com]

    Status of Maryland state laws is that individual wineries have to pay a $10 annual license fee, and that only allows them to ship wines that aren't otherwise available locally, and then they still have to use the three-tier system (so they have to ship to a distributor/wholesaler who then ships to a retailer near me).

    That's a pretty painful process, and it's not obvious that it produces a useful result. (If the wine is sold anywhere in the state, then it's not eligible for this shipping method AFAICT, even if there's nowhere within an hour's drive that stocks the wine...)

    Needless to say, it's more likely that I'd have such a wine shipped to a friend in a nearby state, or just find a store in DC/VA with a better selection where I can actually buy that wine. But that doesn't address things like "wine of the month" clubs which might be nice but which simply can't comply with Maryland restrictions.
  • Great, now I don't have to go out to get Thunderbird [bumwine.com].

    I wonder if the bottles will come indivdually wrapped in a paper bag.

    Hey, it's good enough for Mentats!

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

    - Piter De Vries

  • by MonkeyBoyo (630427) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:55PM (#12550736)
    Baptists (non drinkers) have been a major force behind attempted legislation to force all alcohol to be sold from local retail outlets. They claim it is so underage kids can't order their own wine and drift into a life of sin. But who really thinks that a parent would not notice credit charge bills or large packages delivered to home.

    The real reason is to keep other adult Baptists from secrectly drinking. Right now, most "wet Baptists" have to drive 100 miles to buy their hooch at liquor store where it is unlikely someone will recognize them. UPS delivery will make it much easier to be secrectly wet.

    "If you go fishing with a Baptist, make sure there is at least 2 of them" (e.g. if there is only one then he will drink all of your beer).
    • by TheTomcat (53158) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:30PM (#12550954) Homepage
      "If you go fishing with a Baptist, make sure there is at least 2 of them" (e.g. if there is only one then he will drink all of your beer).

      What's the difference between a Baptist and a Catholic?
      The Catholic will say "hi" to you in the liquor store.

      (I grew up going to a Baptist church...)

      S
    • For the kids, pfft. Tired of that.

      I'm just wondering how tax will work since most states want to increase the hell out of sin taxes (Pun intended).
    • It's not all Baptists. I'm a Baptist and I won't hesitate to tell you that there is nothing wrong with drinking. It's getting drunk that the Bible warns against. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul even tells Timothy that he should drink occasionally for health reasons (1 Tim. 5:23). And then there was the whole turning water into wine thing (John 2:1-10). The Bible clearly views alcohol as something that should be enjoyed, as long as it's in moderation.
  • The supreme court struck down laws that allowed intrastate shipments but banned interstate shipment. This doesn't mean a state can't ban the direct shipping of wines outright. Sure it will kill a couple small local wineries if that happens. But it's not like those wineries will replace the taxes lost to out of state purchases. That's what it comes down to. Taxes. Not keeping booze away from children.

    I do admit to figuring out how to get wine mailed to me back in high school however it was the 1980's

  • by Kelmenson (592104) <kelmenson@@@yahoo...com> on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:06PM (#12550800)
    The article even says this, although most seem to be overlooking it.

    ``If a state chooses to allow direct shipment of wine, it must do so on evenhanded terms,'' Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court in Washington.
    and
    The decision leaves open the possibility that state legislatures can revamp their laws to ban both in-state and out- of-state direct shipments.
    Simply a state must apply the same laws to wineries out of state as it does in state. But if in state wineries can't do it, out of state ones can be blocked as well.
  • About time America (Score:3, Interesting)

    by microbrewer (774971) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:08PM (#12550812) Homepage
    This is great news for me seeing that was partly involved in the setting up of a online beer company whos main sales outlet is the internet and who have a Custom Label web app so you can create your own labels to put on the bottles .

    The company is called Brewtopia and the beer is called Blowfly based in Sydney, Australia and they offer shares for signing up as member on the website and for refering friends .They also give you a share in the company for ordering the beer online and ship it via courier to your house only if you live in Australia of course.

    Recently they annouced they are preparing a IPO to list on the Australian Stock Exchange.

    http://www.blowfly.com.au/ [blowfly.com.au] if you want to join up ,

    Now I live in the US Blowfly Beer has been unavailble in the US partly due to the law of commerce across state lines

    Great News for small wineries and microbrewers in the US and maybe even Australia .
  • by dmarx (528279)
    I agree with this decision. It is not the state's business whether or not I get my wine from a liquor store or over the Internet. Despite their talk about sales to minors, the real concern of people who supported the bans on out of state direct shipments (and now all direct shipments) was/is the bottom line of wholesalers and liquor store owners.
  • Youth should be taught safe drinking. They should learn to know their limits, and what alcohol can do to them.

    After all, they're going to drink, so let's make sure they do it properly.

    It's time for a drinker's license, just as there are driver's licenses and hunting licenses. You should have to pass a test (with both written and practical components), or you shouldn't get to drink.

    In the absence of a drinker's license, kids will learn their drinking skills from peers and young adults, often those with the worst drinking skills. Bartenders, while often highly trained professionals, seldom have the time to instruct young novice drinkers on the finer points such as:

    • which drinks can get you hammered quickest
    • proper chugging technique
    • how to fake being drunk to avoid awkward social circumstances
    • how to fake being sober to avoid awkward legal circumstances
    • how to select the proper drink regimen to avoid blowing chunks
    • the proper use of "beer goggles", and how to act in the morning when they no longer work

    Until we properly attend to the needs of our youth, we won't be sure of the kind of society we'll become. The future of drinking, and our civilization built on its mighty foundation, is too important to be left to random chance.

  • If you're not old enough to buy wine in a store, you can have it shipped to you?

    That's kinda neat.
  • Say what... (Score:2, Funny)

    by creimer (824291)
    Doesn't WINE come with every Linux distro that's available in the world? I guess we need the Supreme Court (USA) to keep Microsoft from interfering with WINE. You would think with a few gazillion USDs in the bank that they could get their own booze.
  • by Hangtime (19526) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:02PM (#12551137) Homepage
    When I was investigating a start-up, I began to read about all the different liquor laws across the country. Quite frankly, its insane. Here in Texas, certain beverage sizes are restricted to an uncommon size and wholesalers control the entire market. Alcohol producers cannot send product directly to stores it MUST BY LAW go through a distributor then sent on to your local store. Literally there are warehouses where all they do is unload the truck and reload another right there. Thank the Texas legislature and a whole lot of campaign contributions for that one.

    If your really interested in learning more about the situation and how crazy it gets you can read this great article from the Houston Press (Houston's Counter Culture Weekly Magazine) here

    http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/2005-04-07/news /news.html [houstonpress.com]
  • Now I get it (Score:3, Informative)

    by buddha42 (539539) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:56PM (#12551440)
    I was wondering why Amazon.com bought Wine.com two weeks ago. Looks like that investmet will pay off nicely now.

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