Jillian Bandes

“Someone has to be the holder of the alcohol at any moment. When you license someone like Wine.com, who is the holder? It gets very murky and confusing,” she said. “For any other kind of hazardous material, you want to make sure it arrives safely. Do we want FedEx to be in charge of distributing arsenic?”

Gladys Horiuchi, spokeswoman for the Wine Institute, says that’s a bunch of hogwash.

“If [wineries] ship to an out-of-state to a minor, they get thrown in jail for a year and fined $10,000, and the next time they could lose their basic permit to operate,” said Horiuchi. “Frankly, it’s too much of a risk for producers.”

It’s also a risk to politicians, who frequently have a multitude of booze distributors but only a few, if any, producers in their districts. If and when the next Congress takes it up, expect major divisions on the issue, which will probably not be tempered by a good-natured buzz from a strong, boozy brew.

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com