When I first thought about starting a blog, especially one focused on the other 46 states, I forgot one important detail. Finding the wines to taste and review. Sure, I can run over to Total Wine and buy a few select wines from Virginia or New York. But what about those other states? Mission impossible!
You’re probably thinking, what about online? Due to the many restrictive laws, it’s nearly impossible to find a winery that ships to my state, unless it’s a major distributor like wine.com. And of course, they offer everything from Australia to New Zealand, but do you think I can get an Ohio Riesling! I’m left searching the billions of web pages to find small, local wine shops that will ship to my address.
There is hope! I encourage everyone to bookmark Free the Grapes, a national, grassroots coalition of consumers, wineries and retailers who seek to remove restrictions on wine direct shipping. As the wine industry continues to grow in the US, especially in the other 46, it’s imperative these restrictions are removed. On the eve of this historic inauguration, isn’t it even more important to be supporting our local vineyards and wineries? I encourage you to raise a glass of your favorite local wine tomorrow (congratulations to Barboursville Vineyard whose wines were selected to be served at the Inaugural Conservation Gala tonight) and toast to an exciting 2009.