Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Press Release: Politics, Wine and Fair Trade Collide at Online Wine Auction

Online Fundraising Auction Supports Efforts
to Give Wine Merchants Right To Ship Wine,
Consumer right to buy the wines they want

(Sacramento, CALIF)—Beginning today and running through November 19th, Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) and WineCommune.com are sponsoring the "Wine Without Borders" Online Fundraising Wine Auction. The online auction of wine will raise funds to support the effort to overturn state-sponsored discrimination against online commerce and give wine lovers real access to the wines they want, but can't find at their local wine outlets.

To view the various lots up for bid in the auction, wine lovers can go to: winecommune.com. Wine lovers that support free trade in wine can quickly register, start bidding on wines and know they are helping the effort to bring down protectionist wine shipping laws.

"Between 2000 and 2008, more than $65 million was given to state political campaigns by special interests that oppose the idea of wine lovers buying wine online," said Tom Wark, Executive Director of the Specialty Wine Retailers Association. "We shouldn't be surprised then that today, in the 21st century, 36 states help these same well-healed special interests with protectionist laws that ban the shipment of wine into their states."

Among the wines on the block at the Wine Without Borders Online Fundraising Auction are: a 3 liter bottle of 2000 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Martinelli Jackass Vineyard Zinfandel, Bordeaux futures including cases of 2007 Chateau Petrus and Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a collection of 2004 Syrahs from across California, 1996 Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame Champagne, a 6 liter bottle of 2006 White Cottage Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and many more hard to find and rare wines. In all there are more than 90 lots up for bid.

Specialty Wine Retailers Association is the only national organization that is working to overturn protectionist anti-wine shipping laws, give wine merchants access to the national wine market and allowing consumers to finally gain access to the wines they want by working to change laws in various states.

The proceeds of the "Wine Without Borders" auction will go toward helping fund the SWRA efforts across the country, including lobbying and media relations efforts.

"The 'Wine Without Borders' Online Wine Auction also gives consumers the opportunity to get involved and help with this effort to open up online wine sales across the country," said Wark. "To some this cause seems trivial, but in addition to supporting corruption and blocking wine lovers from accessing the wines they want, states that ban retailer to consumer shipping are losing millions of dollars in tax revenue that could be earned by simply letting their citizens buy wines from out of state wine retailers when they can't find them at home."