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Lawmakers Consider Shipping Wine

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PatWarrenWebPhoto Pat Warren
Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Supporters of bills to allow Marylanders to get wine shipped directly to them from out-of-state appear to be gaining momentum in Annapolis.

As political reporter Pat Warren explains, some of the opposition may be softening.

For some, shopping for wine can be almost as much fun as drinking it.  Shoppers at the Wine Source in Hampden can see the benefits of allowing out-of-staters to ship wine to Maryland customers, even if they prefer to shop in person.

“I think it’s probably a good idea for some people, but if you’ve got a wine store as wonderful as this one, you wouldn’t want to miss the wine store,” said Richard Rubin.

“I’m more of a label shopper,” said Annie Kilcoye.

William Stifler, manager of the Wine Source, says he sees no threat to retailers.

“I guess our stance on that is that there’s enough wine to go around for everyone so we’d rather encourage people’s interest in wine and deal with it at that point,” Stifler said.

State Senator Joan Carter Conway has voiced concerns about competition in the past and, as chair of a Senate committee hearing the bill, expects to see some limits set on what can and cannot be shipped.

“You start off with one thing.  You never get the whole cow.  You might get a steak or cutlet,” Conway said.

Conway plans to meet with both supporters and opponents Thursday.

More than 80 delegates and 30 senators have signed on to the direct ship bills.

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