ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A top Senate Democrat told lobbyists for wine vendors on Thursday that some form of direct wine shipping will be approved in Maryland this year.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway, D-Baltimore, told lobbyists and two lawmakers during a gathering in a Senate committee room that a bill to legalize direct shipping would be passed. However, Conway said details still need to be worked out between the various interests.

The proposal to allow consumers to receive wine by mail has been signed onto by a majority of lawmakers. Advocates of the measure accused Conway of blocking the bill last year — a charge she denied again Thursday.

“We’re going to give you something,” Conway told the group. “It might not be something you’re all going to be happy with.”

Lobbyists representing the Maryland State Licensed Beverage Association, the Licensed Beverage Distributors of Maryland and the Maryland Wineries Association met with Conway and the lead Senate and House sponsors of the bill to hash out their differences.

J. Steven Wise, a lobbyist for the licensed beverage association, told the group that wine that is widely available in
stores should not be approved for direct shipping to homes.

But one of the lead sponsors of the measure disagreed.

“Doesn’t it stand to reason if they can get the wine here they’re not going to add the extra $25 to $30 to ship it,” Sen.
Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, told the assembled group.

Raskin said more work is needed to negotiate a final compromise.

Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia allow wine to be shipped in the mail. Wine is now shipped in Maryland to an in-state wholesaler who sells to a distributor who then delivers the products to individual retailers. The system doesn’t satisfy connoisseurs who want what is not available in the state.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (12)
  1. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    Wonderful, now kids can get drunk without ever leaving the house. Way to go legislature, now that’s real progress & what we send you to Annapolis for.

    1. joules says:

      Bernard, kids are drinking now.Just because Maryland may step into the year 2011 and allow people like me to get decent wine for a change without having traveling back to New York to do so, does not mean kids are going to be drunks because of it. These kids would need access to a computer, and credit card and remember, most of these online wine places require an I.D. of anyone signing for the parcel. Your feels are neither well thought out or rational.

      1. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

        Joules, think for yourself . Every kid today has a computer or access. Drivers license? You can buy one on the street for $10. Signing upon delivery? joke, these UPS & Fed ex guys are pushed for time & will take any signature in fact, you can pre sign & they’ll deliver. My feelings about our legislators are well founded. They simply do what they want in Annapolis & the lobbyists have them all by the short hairs with Bruce Bereano the convicted felon leading the way. Incidently, Beltway wine has a selection second to none, save yourself a trip to N.Y.

      2. Geri says:

        I agree with you joules! And, it’s not like underage kids are going to be buying fine wines by the case to get drunk. The few places I have ordered from in the past required a minimum of 12 to ship…..I had mine shipped to a friend’s house in another state which allows shipping. Let’s face it, if kids want to get loaded, they will find a way to do it. And, in defense of UPS , FEDEX and USPS….I have never ordered something I was told I would have to sign for, and not had to sign. I hope this goes through.

    2. J. Jung says:

      That statement is so absurd it borders on insanity. Independent reports and reports by the comptroller state that there has been no evidence whatsoever of underage drinking due to direct wine shipping in the other 37 states where it’s legal.
      The idea that someone under 21 will go to the trouble to order wine over the internet, where it will be way more expensive courtesy of shipping costs and taxes, committing credit card fraud in the process, have to wait days for it to be delivered, which would be during school hours, and have to sign for it upon delivery with a fake I.D. is ridiculous to the point of science fiction.
      Why would anyone under 21 do that when they can get a fake I.D., or get someone to buy it for them, or try to buy it in the hopes of not being carded, or steal it from a store or from their parents in their own house where they live?
      If you work for a distributor or have some other vested financial interest involved and object under those reasons, that would at least make some sense.

    3. J. Jung says:

      And as far selection goes, such as at places like Beltway is also not true either. Beltway is an excellent wine store, however there are over 100,000 different wines made in the U.S. alone and distributor’s in MD carry less than 10% of those wines.
      Kinda throws a bit of a wrench in that whole plenty of selection for citizens of MD argument.

  2. Mark says:

    bernard, not every child will be doing such. if parents did thier jobs & not just be friends with thier kids things would be better. but, why should that prevent me from buying something that is legal because someone cannot instill the right things in thier children? I guess you are also in favor of sensoring say books, music or ideas beacause the children may get a hold of them??? what a joke!

  3. Torrie says:


    Now who is ranting?

    You’re are basing your viewpoint on unsubstantiated assumptions. UPS, FedEx, and USPS all give the option of direct signature on their deliveries.

    I, for one would love to be able to cut out the middle man and have a nice selection of wine as the people of 37 other states and D.C. are currently able to do.

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