Sunday, February 20, 2011

WINE NEWS: LAWS ON WINE


Wine News: Laws On Wine

Checking for some wine-related news stories recently, a few from three different areas of the country caught my eye.

In El Cajon, California there's an ordinance under consideration which would place a ban on beers and wines with a high alcohol content.  If passed, the city ordinance would mean fans of Porto and Port-style fortified wines would have to leave town in order to buy them.  City fathers hope the ban would cut down on El Cajon's problem with drunken transients - but, while keeping fortified wine off the store shelves, the ban would not affect the sale of a two-dollar hip flask of vodka.  And what about a 15.5% Cabernet. Is that considered a high alcohol wine?

In Kansas, state lawmakers are holding hearings on the possibility of allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell beer and wine, which presently is not permitted in the Jayhawk State.  State officials are probably thirsty for the $72-million increase in state and local taxes the sale of beer and wine in grocery stores would bring.

Maryland's state legislature is considering raising the wholesale alcohol tax.  The bill would add $215-million to the state's coffers by increasing the wine tax from 40 cents to three dollars, the beer tax from nine cents to $1.16 and an even greater jump for taxes on distilled spirits.  One Maryland brewery claims their excise tax would rise from $20,000 per year to $270,000.