Gov. Chris Christie signs bill allowing for direct shipment of wine

Listen up, New Jerseyans. That velvety merlot you loved on your trip through Sonoma? You will be able to order it, over the Internet or by phone, and have it shipped directly to your home — as long as it wasn’t from a giant vineyard.

“We’re delighted,” said Tom Cosentino, spokesman for UnCorkNJ, a wine consumer group that supported the bill.

Wineries in New Jersey can now ship to any of the 38 other states that allow direct shipping. Those states can also ship to New Jersey customers.

It won’t be a free-for-all, though. Consumers are limited to 24 cases from a given winery per year.

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“Wineries that produce 250,000 gallons of wine or less per year are the ones that will be allowed to direct ship,” said Cosentino.

Most of vineyards in New Jersey fall into that category.

Wine and liquor stores aren’t quite as cheerful as Cosentino about the new law: they are worried they’ll get skipped over if customers can order online, and their business will suffer.

The law takes effect May 1.

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