If you want the easiest access to wine in the country, you might want to take a look at The American Wine Consumer Coalition’s wine consumer wine survey. They’ve released the results of the survey in Consuming Concerns: The 2013 State-by-State Report Card on Consumer Access to Wine.

Their findings were based on six issues that they found were most important to consumers.

  1. Ability to have wine shipped to their home from any winery

  2. Ability to have wine shipped to their home from any wine retailer

  3. The ability to purchase wine in grocery stores

  4. The ability to purchase wine on Sundays

  5. The ability to bring their own wine into a restaurant to drink with their meal
  6. No State monopoly on the sale of wine
All fifty states plus the District of Columbia were graded and ranked based on how closely they adhered to those consumer issues. Seven states received an A+ according to their survey.
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Virginia
My state, New Jersey, received a sad D+ and ranked at number 30, despite our recent success in gaining the right for wineries to ship directly to N.J. residents. We fell short on retailer-to-consumer shipping and wine sold in grocery stores. N.J. actually has a very odd grocery store law when it comes to wine. As I understand it, each grocery store chain can obtain two liquor licenses and allow two of their stores to carry wine, beer and spirits.

Who is at the very bottom? There are twelve states that received Fs. If you live in Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Oklahoma or Utah, your access to wine is the most limited in the country. Most of those states do not allow winery shipping to residents and four of them still have Sunday bans on wine sales.

Take a look at where your state falls and if you’re unhappy about some of its laws regarding wine, get involved. AWCC exists to advance and protect the rights of wine lovers across the country, and the website has plenty of information about what can be done.

You can also check out Free the Grapes - a national, grassroots coalition of consumers, wineries and retailers who seek to remove restrictions on wine direct shipping.

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