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Nov 21, 2013 09:20 AM

Free the Grape! Wine shipments to MA Massachusetts


I hope this doesn't get moved, as it is an MA specific post.

I've been trying to order some wines, ports, etc as Xmas gifts, and am finding over and over that the seller is out of state and cannot ship to me. Galling to find exactly what I want at a good price - and not be able to purchase it!

I think this restriction is wrong. I think I have the right to purchase the wines I want, in the manner of my choosing - whether by telephone, newsletter or Internet. I believe that consumers, not wholesaler middlemen, should decide which wines I can purchase.

If you agree with me, you might want to look at

MA is focal point of freethegrapes this year. "The legislature is now considering House Bill 294, a favorable bill that would replace an unconstitutional law with a proven solution."

Thank you
the freethegrapes site makes it very easy to contact your rep online, with a suggested and editable text, and can locate your reps by your address.

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  1. Yes, this is an important MA topic. Seems we can pass gay marriage, free the grey hound and free the weed, save the foie, yet still cannot free the grape. It's a lobbyist game that has gone on far too long. Hopefully soon. Shipping the grape is rather expensive, but it would be nice to have the option.

    1. Does this apply to spirits as well? Either way, I'm all for it. Super frustrating to not be able to order stuff that's not distributed here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: davis_sq_pro

        They would probably gain much more support if it at least included beer too given the popularity of craft beer these days.

        1. re: davis_sq_pro

          It's unclear (to me, at least). But even the bill that this group is pushing for passage of does not provide a simple open market. It would require any winery that wants to ship to Mass to buy a license from the state.

          1. re: BobB

            Legislative progress is an incremental game.

        2. Please consider going to the site and emailing your reps - the freethegrapes site makes it very easy and can locate your reps by your address.
          I wondered about the spirits issue too - but at least this would be some improvement.

          1 Reply
          1. re: angelaangel

            Done. It's a helpful link, thank you for sharing. Here's to its success!

          2. The law's been like this for decades. Totally stupid but, then hey it's MA.

            6 Replies
            1. re: treb

              "hey it's MA."

              If we're not greasing someone's palm, WE'RE DOING IT ALL WRONG!!!

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                Or: voters in MA prefer to have laws restricting free will and free market, because they know what's best for the masses who cannot otherwise be trusted.

                1. re: Niblet

                  Yeah, that sounds like the right mindset for a Massachusetts uber-liberal.

                    1. re: Madrid

                      As long as others' enjoyment of wine is properly controlled by Big Brother, there's no problem :-)

                      1. re: davis_sq_pro

                        I disagree. It,s the economic interests of distributors and liquor store owners and their lobbying efforts holding this back. There are lots of entrenched interests in this state that don,t have much to with liberalism. Not to mention the Puritan background culture! Everyone should be able to purchase and enjoy the wine we like! No one is trying to stop the purchase of those awful gallon jug wines.

            2. I don't know if this entirely legal or not, and I won't name the state, but I have had wine shipped to me in MA as a gift by a relative who lives in the same state as the winery. It hasn't been a problem for years. so might be a point of origin issue?

              so frustrating.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Madrid

                I believe it's illegal, but I have never had a problem with receiving anything -- when I could get it shipped in.

                Examples: My father ships me wine from CA every year during the holidays, I've shipped myself stuff from trips on numerous occasions, and I used to know of a couple of online stores that didn't have their shipping rules properly configured. My packages always arrive without incident.

                The problem is that proper retail outlets tend to want to obey the law, and so they refuse to ship to us... And I can't blame 'em. They can be heavily fined if caught.

                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                  Yes, you can get around the law if you ship it yourself. I am not sure what the penalty is if caught.

                  Not a single Vineyard I visited in Napa would ship wine to Mass, even the smaller/less known ones. Ended up shipping myself a few bottles but the one club I joined ships it to relative the next state over. PIA

                  1. re: foodieX2

                    Etude used to ship to me in Mass as part of their wine club. I ended up quiting the club when it became a pain to keep up with the shipments.