Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Breaking wine news - you can take that Merlot-to-Go!

News in the Wine World Georgia's new direct shipping law went into effect July 1, allowing Georgians to order wine over the Internet for the first time. In addition, when dining in restaurants in Georgia, patrons ordering a bottle of wine may take any unfinished wine home with them. Known as the "Merlot to Go" act, the bills were previously vetoed by Governor "Sonny" Perdue, but this session, confronted with bipartisan support for the measures, he signed them into law.

Good news for all your winos out there, Georgia is finally joining the civilized world and allowing wine to be shipped. That means we now actually have access to unusual or rare wines that can't be found at the local wine shop, and we don't have to schlep ourselves to the winery to pick it up. I love me some Napa Valley, but that's a once a year trip at most, and bon vivante I may be, but my trips to France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Argentina etc are even rarer.

Why on earth has it taken so long to pass this law? Having been living outside of Georgia since 2002, I don't know much about Sunny Purdue, although his name evokes images of good ol' boys, pickup trucks, and chicken. Is he a teetotaler? A staunch supporter of Franzia boxed wine? Or just so not a wine fan that he thinks Publix's wine selection is good enough? Regardless, while the rest of the country has been enjoying any wine they damn well please, Georgia has been limited.

The Merlot-to-Go act is genius, too. When you're paying a giant markup on wine at a restaurant, the least they can do is let you take the remaining wine with you. The bottle is closed, and I don't know about other people, but I for one don't foresee swigging wine straight from the bottle on the wine home thereby causing an open container danger. I live in walking distance of some places with great wine selection, such as Fritti and Sotto Sotto, and i was recently dismayed to find that Sotto Sotto wouldn't let me take our wine home. So I was obligated (oh the horror!) to finish the wine if I wanted my money's worth. Jeff and I can finish a bottle of wine with the best of them, but I'm trying (and often failing) to stop myself at one glass of wine so I get all the health benefits and none of the booze pounds. Now, we'll be able to put a cork in our bottle, stroll home, and enjoy the wine the next day. How very Euro of us, no?

So drink up Georgians, it's your right!



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