By Elliott Francis
Wine merchants are hoping to put a cork in a Maryland law that prohibits wineries from shipping directly to Maryland consumers.
The wine merchants are planning comprehensive lobbying efforts in Annapolis in January to support legislation for direct sales. Maryland has a three-tier regulatory system on the sale of wine. It requires producers to sell to wholesalers, who then distribute wine to retail stores.
Opponents of direct sales say it would make it easier for minors to obtain alcohol.
The Baltimore Sun reports that at least 35 states, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, have passed legislation authorizing direct shipment of wine to consumers.