Challenging State Wine Laws: The Tanford Interview, Part 2

In a previous post we introduced Alex Tanford, the Indiana attorney and professor who played a key role in moving the landmark Granholm v Heald Supreme Court case to fruition and who is currently challenging discriminatory laws in three states that ban retailer to consumer shipping. In this post, Professor Tanford addresses questions concerning the… Read more »

Becoming An Advocate for Wine Lovers — The Tanford Interview, Part 1

For twenty-five years Professor Alex Tanford has, along with partner Robert Epstein, been using the state and federal court systems to address blatantly discriminatory laws the negatively impact consumers’ ability to access the wines they want. Tanford was Counsel of record in the Supreme Court case of Granholm v. Heald (2005) and in 18 related lower court cases addressing… Read more »

The Pitiful Selection of Wines Distributed in Texas

Perhaps the primary reason consumers benefit by access to out-of-state products is that the traditional three-tier system that puts products on the shelves in most states is terrible at providing consumers with choices. Consider the state of Texas. In the past 24 months, the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, which overseas alcohol sales and distribution in… Read more »

Texas Tests Anti-Competitive Theory vs. Free Markets in Wine

A recent story in the Houston Post highlighted a Texas lawmaker who has recently filed a bill challenging the state’s ban on consumer shipments of wine from out-of-state retailers. In the article, Representative Matt Rinaldi said the ban “is ridiculously anti-competitive… It is protectionist and it violates the rights of anyone who values the free… Read more »

What Modern American Wine Retailers Support

Each year state legislatures across the country see the introduction of new bills around January and February that in one way or another reform the alcohol beverage laws of their states. Some of the legislation is an honest attempt to make a highly regulated industry operate more smoothly or more efficiently or with more transparency…. Read more »

Maryland Doubles Down on Wine Shipping Stupidity

It is indicative of Maryland’s legendarily dysfunctional alcohol distribution system, that lawmakers in that state would feel a need to push legislation reasserting their opposition to free and fair trade in wine. House Bill 987 (Sponsor: Warren Miller) redundantly insists that Marylanders ought to be expressly forbidden from purchasing wine from out-of-state retailers and auction houses… Read more »

New Lawsuit Aimed at Michigan Ban on Wine Retailer Shipping…Again

A recently filed lawsuit against the state of Michigan claims the state violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it passed a law that discriminates against out-of-state wine retailers by banning them from shipping wine to consumers in the state. What’s most unique about this lawsuit is that it is identical to a… Read more »

Reciprocal Retailer Wine Shipping Law Challenged in Missouri

Following on the heals of the filing of a lawsuit challenging Illinois’ discriminatory retailer wine shipping law, a new lawsuit has been filed in Missouri that challenges that state’s law that only permits retailers in states where Missouri retailers may ship to ship wine into the state of Missouri. This so-called “reciprocal” wine shipping law… Read more »

Retailer Wine Shipping: On The Litigation Front

It is ironic that as the Internet wine retail market has heated up over the past decade, the one entity that has been actively discouraged from participating in that heat up is the American wine retailer. As a result of lobbying efforts to protect local retailers and wholesalers, wineries approving of bans on retailer direct… Read more »

The Billion Dollar Wine Shipping Boondoggle

We know that wineries in the United States ship upwards of $2 billion in wine directly to consumers across the country. What we don’t know is the value of wine shipped directly to consumers from wine retailers. Yet, we can say with great confidence that the concerted effort by wine distributors, wineries and some retailers… Read more »