After Robert Parker posted his updated reviews of the Bordeaux 2000 vintage I started craving the 2000 Chateau Brane-Cantenac.
I searched around and found a Magnum of that vintage at Vinfolio. I normally don't by from Vinfolio because they don't ship to Virginia (even though Steve Case is their main investor) and I can't use my FedEX account with them like I can with JJ Buckley.
But this was a Magnum of Chateau Brane-Cantenac, so I bit the bullet, used one of their third party shippers, faxed some documents (yes, really, faxed) and waited patiently (I've learned in the wine shipping business overnight does not mean the same thing to everyone) for my wine to come.
I love my local wine shops. Mike at Leesburg Vintner and Lucinda at The Wine Seller are great. They know my wine preferences and they are always willing to special order wines for me.
But, they can't order a Magnum of 2000 Chateau Brane-Cantenac or a 1993 bottle of Chateau Margaux or even a bottle of 2008 Petite Sirah from Jazz Cellars.
That is why H.R. 5034 is so onerous. If passed, eventually, it will lead to the cessation of all Internet-based wine purchases, read what Tom Wark had to say:
The only way many wineries can survive or thrive inside today's ineffective alcohol distribution system is through direct shipment of wine to consumers. The only way consumers can access most of the wines that have resulted from the explosion of artisan wineries across the country is via direct shipment of wine. If H.R. 5034 passes, it will mean the end of the direct shipment of wine in numerous states
Small wineries have enough trouble getting their name and wine out there for people to enjoy, not to mention having to navigate the confusing state laws in existence. Why would anyone want to make it impossible for them to ship their wines? Alternatively, why would anyone want to make it more difficult for a collector, like myself, to get the wines he or she enjoys?
I've mentioned before that the people behind the bill resort to the old scare tactic of "protecting the children." Wayne Brough explodes that argument:
Concern over underage sales, an issue bound to capture a regulator’s attention, is also a questionable reason to oppose the direct shipment of beer and wine. While it is unlikely that underage drinkers will order expensive wines and craft beers and wait for delivery, safeguards have been established to address such concerns. A simple signature at delivery goes a long way towards eliminating abuse. States have the authority to control underage drinking without banning direct shipments. And if underage drinking were a concern, it is hard to understand why states such as Virginia allowed in-state shipping from vineyards while banning out-of-state shipments.
The point is, legislation like this will have a real, direct, and negative impact on people who love wine (poor Sonadora will have to cancel all of her cellar clubs ;)).