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Massachusetts Governor Supports Direct Wine Shipments

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Deval PatrickDan 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!

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Amazon local: $25 for $50 at Wine.com

Friday, December 16, 2011


Another Wine.com social voucher - this time from Amazon:
http://local.amazon.com/denver/B006MH4BN2

There's been quite a run of these vouchers lately. What more can I say about them?

The value of the voucher can't be applied to shipping, and unless you're part of their Steward Ship program the cost of shipping first bottle can be quite costly (around $12.95). And don't get any funny ideas about stacking the voucher with deals like site-wide $0.01 shipping - the voucher can't be combined with other promotions. Some of their prices can be quite high. But if you're disciplined, catch Steward Ship when they offer it for $25, and have patience - you may be able to find some pretty good deals. Sometimes.

Happy hunting!

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And the Winner is...


28 people entered our drawing for a pair of tickets to the 2012 Boston Wine Expo - 25 via comments on this blog post and 3 more via email. I assigned the comments numbers 1 through 25 with the number 1 going to the first comment. Entries 25 through 28 were assigned to the email entries.

The random number drawn was "6":

...so the winner is Glen! I'll reach out via email and connect him with the folks from the Expo to get him his tickets. Congratulations! Enjoy.

Thanks for the participation everyone. For more information and to purchase tickets to the Expo visit their website.

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Deal Alert: $50 JJ Buckley Gift Cards for $25 (plus $1 shipping)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As is being discussed in the Smoking Deals at Wine Retailers thread on the CellarTracker Forums, JJ Buckley Fine Wines is offering $50 gift cards for $25 - limit 3 per person.

You can give these as gifts (via email or USPS), use them to buy gifts, or use them to buy wine for yourself.

Stack it with $1 Ground Shipping on new orders through the end of December 2011 and this might be the best wine deal of 2011.

They've got good pricing on their website but the best deals come through Preferred Customer Pricing offers delivered via email. Place an order with them to be included on these offers -or- drop me an email if you'd like a referral.

Once you're on their list you're assigned a salesperson you can email with parameters of what you're looking for. They'll scour their inventory and come up with a list of wines that meet your parameters. Regardless of how you choose to order, you can build up to a straight case over time (to minimize per-bottle shipping costs) and then ship your order when weather conditions are optimal.

Visit the JJ Buckley website through this link and look for the yellow banner at the top of the page:
 
http://www.jjbuckley.com/2011_Welcome_Back

Like all out of state retailers, they unfortunately can't ship to Massachusetts.
Disclosure: JJ Buckley ran an ad on the WWP the past few months which this post isn't related to.

Thanks to friend and reader SB for the heads up!

Question of the Day: What do you see in-stock at JJB right now that you'd recommend?

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Boston Wine Expo 2012 Ticket Giveaway!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thanks to everyone who entered! This contest is now closed.

The nice folks at the Boston Wine Expo have given me 2 tickets for the 2012 Boston Wine Expo to give away. The tickets are for the Grand Tasting Sunday January 22nd 2012 from 1pm - 5pm at the Seaport World Trade Center - a $150 value.

Click here to visit the Boston Wine Expo website and learn more about the event
Check out these options if you're in the trade, a potential exhibitor, or the media.

To enter the contest all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post (http://www.wellesleywinepress.com/2011/12/boston-wine-expo-2012-ticket-giveaway.html if you're reading this via email or a feed reader).

If you'd rather not comment publicly you can drop me an email instead:
wellesleywinepress@gmail.com

Winner will be randomly chosen.
Deadline to enter is 11:59 pm Thursday December 15th.

Good luck!

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2012 Boston Wine Expo: More Affordable if You Buy Early

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Boston Wine Expo. This year's Grand Tastings are held at The Seaport World Trade Center January 21-22, 2012.

I've gotten a few emails from people asking about discount codes so I asked the folks who run the Expo if I could have some to share. They said they've lowered prices for the Expo this year - especially for early purchases. Here's the pricing for the 2012 Expo:
These prices appear to be 15-20% lower than last year. For example, the early bird Sunday ticket price was $85 last year.

This year's Expo has been expanded to include other activities:
  • Nightly Vintner Dinners
  • Three Days of Seminars (as opposed to just Saturday and Sunday)
  • NECN TV Diner Platinum Plate Gala Friday Evening
  • Chefs' Grand Benefit Dinner Saturday Evening
  • Barrel Sampling Room for the Trade Saturday and Sunday
Click here to check out ticket options including seminars and hotel rooms

Check out these options if you're in the trade, a potential exhibitor, or the media.

Further Reading:

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Eversave: $35 for $70 at Wine.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wakefield, MA based daily deal site Eversave is offering $35 for $70 at Wine.com. See - I told you Wine.com was making the rounds with these deals.

Like other Wine.com social coupons, the voucher value can't be applied towards shipping or tax, can't be combined with other offers, and is said to be invalid for shipping alcohol to MA.

I've bought from Eversave in the past without incident. They're not as famous as Groupon and LivingSocial - but they're legit.

Deal expires Thursday, December 15th. Promotional value of voucher needs to be used by March 5th, 2012. 

Click here to have a look at this deal

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Flash Sale Retailer Lot 18: Now Shipping to Massachusetts

Monday, December 5, 2011

Good news for Massachusetts wine deal hounds - national flash sale retailer Lot 18 is saying they can now ship to Massachusetts. Those of you familiar with Massachusetts wine shipping laws will rightly wonder - how can this be?

Have a look at an example of some of the offers they're currently running that qualify for shipment to Massachusetts and tell me if you see a pattern. Two of the wines are marked "Not available in your state" (Massachusetts):
It looks like most (but not all) of the imported wines are available for shipment to Massachusetts and hardly any of the domestic wines are available. What's going on?

It appears they've established a relationship with a Massachusetts retailer which will fulfill orders in Massachusetts for wines that are distributed here. A few weeks back I took advantage of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape offer which was fulfilled by Corporate Wines in Woburn. Corporate Wines has a reputation for fulfilling straight case orders at aggressively low prices - but with a spotty fulfillment track record. Since they often sell from virtual inventory they can't always get the wine.

Separately from this, we sometimes see a domestic winery claiming to be able to ship to Massachusetts. A few wineries do indeed have the ability to ship to Massachusetts - but they typically need to ship via carriers other than FedEx or UPS if they're doing it on the up and up due to remaining legislation that needs resolution in order to establish reasonable guidelines for domestic winery to consumer deliveries in Massachusetts. Here's a brief history of Massachusetts wine shipping laws if you're interested.

Roll this all together and I can't see how this is bad for Massachusetts wine enthusiasts. Another channel to purchase through. If you can get past the occasionally far-reaching email offers, Lot 18 can be a decent place to purchase wine from. 

Check 'em out if they're not already on your radar screen

Or refer a friend if you're already on to them. 

Question of the Day: What do you think of Lot 18?

PS They're running an offer on the WWP blind tasting favorite Soiree wine aerator with premium travel-friendly packaging for $10 less than Amazon.

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Groupon: 50% Off at Wine.com

Update: This deal has expired.

Groupon is offering 50% off at online retailer Wine.com. They say the offer runs through Friday but quantities are limited and we've seen these sell out in the past.

After a wave of similar offers earlier in the year, Wine.com seems to be making the rounds again with these offers. Living Social ran a $40 for $80 a couple weeks ago.

This time it's $25 for $50 -or- $40 for $80 through Groupon. I'd recommend going for the $40 for $80 because the voucher can't be used towards shipping and as a percentage of the total order less value is eroded with the $40 for $80. If you've previously purchased their Steward Ship package (similar to Amazon Prime - free shipping on all orders for a year) it can be used in conjunction with vouchers like this one. They sometimes offer that for $25 and include a 6 month subscription to Wine Spectator so there is a certain amount of stacking that can be done here. But you have to be crafty.

One other catch - they say it doesn't work for alcohol orders shipped to MA. If you can get past that, you'll notice the prices at Wine.com aren't exactly the greatest. But their markup doesn't seem to be uniform. Take for example the 2009 Caymus Special Selection. They've got it for $99. With a $40 voucher it would be $60 plus shipping for that bottle which is a about $40 less than I see it for anywhere else in the country. 

Click here to check out the offer 

Question of the Day: Any angles you've found to get the maximum value out of these Wine.com social coupons?

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