The issue of selling alcoholic drinks such as wine, liquor, or even beer directly to consumers has always been a much-debated one amongst manufacturers, the wineries, distributors, and the government. An example of a particular court case on the legality of selling directly to the consumers was the Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (Slaybaugh, 2010). The case was heard at the supreme the court, where the judges had a decision to make on permitting state wineries to ship wine straight to customers. The final decision by the judges (in a 5-4 decision), was that the wineries need to be allowed to ship wine directly to the clients except in the event of out of state wineries, who were barred from doing so.
This was a court case that had dragged on for eight years. The sale of wineries in the state was highly controlled and regulated. Despite the fact that direct shipments only constituted a 2 % of the total wines sales, many firms found direct sales as an opportunity for them to grow (Stanzione, 2011). As a result, The New York governor drafted a bill that would allow for direct sales to consumers, though for only two cases in a month, which was a relatively large amount of wine for any given customer. This measure was undertaken as a way of reducing competition to New York distributions, who would suffer from such direct sales.
Since the ruling was made, many states apart from New York have currently allowed for the direct shipping of wines to consumers from the wineries. Different states have diverse regulations on how the shipment processes should be undertaken. However, most of these regulations are complex or expensive, intending to discourage the wineries from complying.
Slaybaugh, D. C. (2010). A Twisted Vine: The Aftermath of Granholm v. Heald. Tex. Wesleyan L. Rev., 17, 265.
Stanzione, N. J. (2011). Granholm v. Heald: Wine in, Wit out. Widener L. Rev., 17, 95.