“Gangster Tactics” Putting A Cork In New Hampshire Wine Sales
In the Granite State, your favorite wine might be harder to find, as sellers are accusing the New Hampshire Liquor Commission of blocking sales.
According to the Concord Monitor, Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers, says they are blocking 80 out-of-state sellers from shipping into the state. In his statement released Monday, Wark compared the actions of the commission to those “reminiscent of the bootlegger and gangster tactics during Prohibition."
The New Hampshire Liquor Commission, as reported by the Monitor said through a spokesperson "the sale bans have been enacted against vendors who were unfairly competing with the commission." The Commission regulates the sale of all alcoholic beverages in the state and operates stores.
New Hampshire is also a “control state." This mean they have sole authority of sales. In 2003, the state became the first of 17 control states to allow out-of-state shipments of alcohol. According to commission spokesman, E.J. Powers the move was made so wineries access to NH, even if they could not compete with wines sold in supermarket chains. The 80 blocked are out of a total 1,069 retailers permitted to ship to locals here in NH. Powers told the Monitor “The vast majority of wineries shipping to New Hampshire (nearly 1,000) and their customers will not be affected."
Critics have said the 80 blocked are some of the largest retailers.