Saturday, December 24, 2011
Dan from Franklin gave Massachusetts wine enthusiasts a nice little Christmas gift by giving Governor Deval Patrick an opportunity to publicly proclaim his support for direct wine shipments on a radio call-in show Thursday.
During an interview on 96.9 Boston Talks, Patrick said "I would sign that bill if it came" in response to a question about why direct wine shipments haven't become a reality even after appeals were exhausted in early 2010.
The bill he was referring to is House Bill 1029 which was introduced in 2011 but never made it out of committee. The state legislature operates on a 2-year session however so perhaps this publicity is just the nudge needed to force some action on this important-but-non-urgent issue.
At around 35:00 minutes remaining in the audio archive (it's pretty entertaining - I'd recommend giving it a listen when you have a chance) Patrick said "Dan, you're killing me here" when asked why shipments still couldn't happen - as if to say he too has been annoyed that he couldn't ship home wine when visiting California and New York.
Patrick then went on to describe his familiarity with the issue saying he understands the concerns of state retailers and wholesalers as well as concerns about underage access. For Patrick to sign the bill, it needs to be voted out of the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional License, and passed by the legislature - which will hopefully happen in 2012.
There's an excellent text summary of the situation by Kyle Cheney of the State House News Service posted on The Boston Herald's website. Thanks to Gary Curtis (@wineblogman on Twitter) for the heads up.
And thanks to Dan from Franklin for raising the awareness of this issue in such an effective way.
If you haven't already, now would be a good time to ping your state representative asking them where they stand on this issue and encourage them to support the bill. Don't know who your legislators are? Use this website to find out.
Want to keep up to date on progress in Massachusetts wine shipping laws? I'd love it if you subscribed to The Wellesley Wine Press.
Hope you all have a safe, healthy, and very happy holiday season!