Shipping Blues
It would be no problem for me to establish a truly kick-ass 21st-century wine cellar, assuming I could scrape together the cash. Trouble is, I'd have a tough time stocking my cellar from shops in Brooklyn, where I currently live. What I'd be required to do is cellar like an old coot: shamble up to Sherry-Lehmann or into Crossroads, jaw and gab with their exceedingly competent and knowledgeable salesfolk, scour their catalogs and so on. What I can't do is sit back on my besotted ass in Park Slope and, ably assisted by my brand-spankin'-new iBook (graphite, fast, fairly cool), fire off e-commerce orders to the far-flung wilds of Napa and Sonoma and Mendocino and Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz and Monterey and Washington state and Oregon?the American viticultural Gold Coast?and buy my wine directly from the source, from the wineries. Why? Because it's disallowed by Prohibition-era laws that forbid individual wineries to ship wine to individual consumers in certain states. New York is one of those states.