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Posted: Friday, August 10 2007. 1:00 PM

Weird Wine World of USA

The Indian wine lawmakers would take solace in the fact that it is not only India but also USA has archaic and arbitrary laws because of its Federal system like ours. Just one such law stipulates that Out-of-state wineries can't sell more than two cases of wine per year to any Illinois consumer.

In a recent exclusive interview with Subhash Arora of Indian Wine Academy, Mr. Ajay Dua, Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry had stressed that the US also faced similar problems in various states. Defending the government’s elimination of ACD but its inability to influence States which have been given independent powers by the constitution, he had said, ‘Look at the USA. Their own state laws are so complex. So they appreciate our stand that we did the best we could.’ ( visit for his interview)

The Prohibition-stung, distributor/wholesaler controlled antiquated laws are not conducive for wine drinkers in the US. During the past few years a string of court cases have been taken up by various courts.

Illinois lawmakers have now approved a measure that would change how wineries throughout the state can sell their products.

If signed into law, the measure passed on Tuesday would broaden the number of wineries from which Illinois consumers can buy directly and improve the variety of specialty wines consumers can find in stores and restaurants.

The new bill would allow a uniform 12-case limit on all wineries. It will also do away with another prevalent rule that requires Illinois to have a special agreement with states for the cases to be sold.

The measure also would let small wineries directly supply eateries and liquor stores with wine without making them go through licensed alcohol distributors, yet another constraint for wine marketing. Out-of-state wineries now are barred from directly distributing to retailers, whereas in-state wineries are able to distribute a certain amount, based on their size. (Looks like they are closely watching and learning from Maharashtra policies -editor)

The changes will bring Illinois into compliance with a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to treat in-state and out-of-state wineries the same way.

“It will allow our selection to grow a bit, those of us those who are interested in finding those unique and different things, small production things, it will give us the ability to seek them out and call the winery and get it in here,” said Amy Blair of Vino 100.

But the proposed law also includes a few stipulations that some people are not happy about.

The Specialty Wine Retailers Association says the proposal is unconstitutional because it prohibits Illinois consumers from buying wine from out of state retailers.

But they say the proposal would allow in state retailers to ship to Illinois customers.

(Resource: )

Meanwhile, the USA’s Treasury Department has released a proposal which requires that wine labels list alcohol content, servings per bottle and some nutritional information, according to the German based international magazine, Wine Business International. The new labels would have to include such macronutrient information as calories, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

According to the New York Times, the Centre for Science in the Public Interest is against the listing of nutrients, as they could give an impression that “there is some nutritional quality to these beverages”.



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