with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Ban on Wine Shipping Might Help Travelers

I know this is an odd thing to post on our site, but this article from the BBC on “US lifts ban on out-of-state wine” might seriously impact the traveler.

Picture this. Brent and I are in Florida exploring one of those junkie flea markets they have everywhere. We find the perfect coffee table to match the ones we got in Israel. Since we are planning to build a home soon, we decide to grab this thing and have it shipped to Everett, Washington, where my mother will store it for us until we get there.

Of course it needs a box. And where do you go to get a good box for mailing, moving, and packing? A liquor store!

For years I used liquor store boxes for everything. Packing, moving, mailing, hauling, filing, you name it. I never had a problem using them for mailing things. While traveling full-time, I’ve shipped warm clothing to Brent’s parents in Tulsa (another home base) to store until winter when we will be coming by for a visit anyway. I’ve also mailed off paperwork that I needed to store and not toss, and all kinds of things.

It wasn’t until three years ago on a visit to Tulsa from Israel that I needed to mail a bunch of stuff and the post office refused to accept my liquor boxes as “packaging”. Seems that after years of ignoring a law that dates back to the dark ages of prohibition, liquor can’t be mailed across the state line without major restrictions, permits, and fees.

I point to the box with “Kitchen stuff” written on it and crossed off and “Bathroom stuff” added below, then crossed off for mailing. Lifting the box that maybe weighs 4 kilos and shaking it, I ask the clerk, “Do you honestly mean to tell me you think there is booze in here?”

Doesn’t matter. No boxes with the words liquor, booze, alcohol, wine, beer, whiskey, liquour, and other booze related words are not permitted to enter the postal service’s hallowed halls.

I go to a nearby hardware store and by some duct tape, return to the post office and start covering up the box’s writing with duct tape.

“Does this work?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Since then, all the post offices I’ve visited in the US give me this grief. They must have been “reminded” that they weren’t honoring the ancient law for so many years. Dumb, dumb.

Now, with this court decision, states no longer have the right to prevent the sale of at least wine across borders. It could lead to a total repeal of the law and allow all booze to cross state lines, but I guess the booze distributors have gained a lot of political clout in recent years, and since God-fearing Christians have hijacked the White House for eight years, and booze, guns, and Christians tend to hang out together in the nation’s capital, I expect that this court decision might not last very long.

BUT it could mean that the postal service might allow at least wine boxes to be used to shipping our precious goodies around the country. So next time you are in the post office trying to mail a wine box of junk home or to a friend, make sure you let them know that the supreme court has decided that it is our right to mail wine anywhere we want in the states, and that they are to stop whining about the wine that is actually a load of mail or dirty laundry.

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