Throwing out the Merlot With the Bathwater


In May, the U.S. Supreme court ruled states such as Michigan may not ban wineries from out-of-state from delivering wine to customers while permitting deliveries by in-state wineries. So the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee has passed a bill outlawing all direct wine shipments to consumers, restaurants and retailers. Under the bill, wineries will have to sell through a wholesaler. Supporters, including the wholesalers, say the bill will keep minors from getting their hands on wine. But small Michigan wineries say they don't produce enough to interest wholesalers, making the bill a possible death sentence for their businesses.