You Will Not Drink Any F*$king Merlot! Ohio slyly changes wine-shipping law

For those of you lucky enough to get California wine shipped directly to your drunken doorstep, we have some bad news. At least we think it’s bad. The wine world is buzzing about a change in Ohio state law—slipped into a budget bill this summer—that appears to prevent some large, out-of-state wineries from shipping directly to customers. A co-worker of mine was dismayed to receive the following ominous email from Domaine Chandon, which ships her bubbly from Yountville, CA. “On June 30th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed the fiscal year 2008-09 budget bill. In an unusual move, wine shipping provisions were inserted into the state budget bill. The law changes Ohio’s open status for shipping wines to a limited direct permit shipping state. Unfortunately, the changes in the law prevent Domaine Chandon and many other wineries from shipping directly to our customers. This law is scheduled to take effect October 1, 2007.” A quick search of the wine aficionado sites reveals that the law did, indeed, change. It’s just not clear exactly how it affects all wineries. But it does look like big ones—those who produce more than 150,000 gallons a year—are not allowed to get shipping permits. Right or wrong, some out-of-state wineries are already pulling the plug on shipments. So load up on that Napa Valley Pinot while you can. -- Lisa Rab
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