Big news on the wine front: “Ship it” is the phrase of the new month. Maryland now allows residents to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wineries. No longer do DC workers have to use their office addresses for wine shipments. Hello; that’s progress. Yet, the state is ready to boost its coffers with new tax initiatives that hit the bottle hard. Alcohol tax increases amount to a 50% sales hike. That should slow down the tab.
Virginia joins the customer-friendly philosophy by allowing consumers to BYOW, bring their own wine to restaurants and pay a corkage fee. Just one common courtesy here: Don’t bring something that is already on the restaurant’s wine list. You want to keep the restaurant in business and not add to their operating cost burden.
Maybe my favorite legislative enactment is from Maryland which requires food purveyors, farm markets, and grocers to define what those “local” signs really mean. This word has had a true liberal dosing of meaning. Big banners often proclaim local only to learn that one store’s definition involves hundreds of miles while one really means the nearby grower. The law applies to fruits, vegetables, fish, and shellfish by requiring a defined point of origin. Let’s keep those signs accurate and support the true definition of local.
Oregon’s wine industry, with its much hearalded 2008 Pinot Noir accolades, just got an additional boost. License plates can now advertise wine country which should boost sales for the entire tourism industry. Why not tag something so impressive!
Celebrate the red, white, and blue by toasting these impressive legislative enactments. OK, one is costly (a 9% alcohol sales tax), but it may help the coffers in a responsible way.
Enjoy the 4th.