Assembly gives initial approval to wine shipping
Legislation that would allow wineries across the state and country to ship bottles directly to Maryland homes has won initial approval from the full General Assembly.
The House of Delegates and Senate could vote on final passage within days. Consumers have cheered the advance of wine shipping -- which is legal in 37 other states and the District of Columbia -- as evidence that the General Assembly is beginning to listen to them.
Not all lawmakers and wine advocates are entirely happy with the bill. Some wanted retailers, in addition to wineries, to be able to ship to residents. Several Jewish lawmakers pointed out that it is dificult to get kosher bottles from anyone but distant retailers.
Despite such misgivings, neither chamber amended the bill -- which represents a hard-fought compromise among the alcohol industry, wineries, consumers and lawmakers on the committees that vet liquor bills.