Why is it becoming harder to buy wine online?

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We have extensively covered the ongoing crackdown on wine shipments taking hold across the country. The national media is starting to take note now, too, as Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post dedicated a recent column to the issue:

In a day when we can buy almost anything online and have it shipped to our door — from shirts to cabbage to replacement motors for our basement freezers (to be installed DIY after watching a YouTube video), it is becoming harder to buy wine.

Ask David Godolphin. The Concord, Mass., resident maintains a collection of about 350 bottles in his temperature-controlled cellar. That’s large enough to have fantastic wine on hand for any occasion, but still modest enough that he needs to indulge in the wine lover’s joy of shopping from time to time to maintain his stash. (The only thing wine fiends love more than drinking wine — and talking about it — is buying it.) Godolphin is especially fond of wines from Alsace, in France, such as grand cru Riesling and pinot gris, top Rieslings from Germany and the red wines from cru appellations of Beaujolais. But these aren’t typically available in his local shops, so he looks to stores outside Massachusetts.

“Fifteen years ago, wine could be shipped to me via FedEx with a wink and a nod,” Godolphin told me in an email. “Then that approach became too risky. I’ve been told I cannot receive wine from out of state.” ...

Read the whole column here.