Free The Grapes

I’ve been a fan of the website woot! for quite awhile. The draw of that site is their one day one deal format that often has cool little gadgets at unbeatable prices. I just got an 8gb thumb drive for like $19 bucks and last year I got my 80gb Zune (refurb) from them for $99 bucks.
Recently I discovered that not only does woot! do gadgets, they also do wine. Being someone that enjoys a good glass of wine from time to time that doesn’t consist of one of the many varieties of Mad Dog 20/20 I thought I would check them out.
That same day they had a deal on a port 4 pack that I really wanted to order but when reading the fine print I discovered that like most cool ideas, being in South Dakota meant I was out of luck.
Apparently at one time or another the wine wholesalers had their hooks into South Dakota politics and had made us one of the 23 states that do not allow wine shipments from out of state wineries or retailers. The list of states they can ship to is below:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District Of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

You might have noticed that we are surrounded by states that all allow wine shipments but as usual South Dakota is left out. Anyone noticing a trend?
Anyhow, if you would like to change this, a group of individuals, wineries and retailers have started a coalition called Free The Grapes that seeks to lobby states that still prohibit wine shipments from out of state sellers. They have a newsletter that keeps you informed of their progress and also allow you to send messages to your elected officials letting them know you want this changed.
District 25’s Arnie Hauge has been sent my letter, please consider sending one to your rep.

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