Wine-by-mail considered by House, Senate
The measures are similar to last year's effort: They allow vineyards and stores to send wine directly to consumers via the U.S. mail. The legislation is popular with lovers of specialty wines who have been frustrated that the current law prevents shipments. Some Marylanders skirt the state's prohibition by having cases wine shipped to Washington, D.C. where it can be legally mailed.
Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, said there is "broad consensus" in the Senate that wine shipping should be allowed this year and thirty-two senators have signed on to the bill. The House version, introduced by Prince George's County Democrat Jolene Ivey, has 83 sponsors including House Speaker Michael E. Busch.
But liquor lobbyist Bruce Bereano predicted additional bills more friendly to the industry would be introduced. He doesn't believe out-of-state retailers should be allowed to mail into Maryland. Such a provision would expose Maryland's liquor stores to competition that could "cannibalize" their business, he said.
Advocates disagree. They also that the industry-backed restriction would prevent Marylanders from participating in wine-of-the-month clubs.