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The Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) has condemned Michigan's action to appeal the retail shipping verdict, saying that the appeal "will prevent Michigan wine consumers from finally being able to access the wines they want and will cost Michigan residents hundreds of thousands of in legal fees."

Tom Wark, executive director of the SWRA, urged the state to pass legislation that would "give consumers real access to legal products, fix the unconstitutional laws and increase tax dollars for state programs, rather than protecting Michigan alcohol distributors who have, collectively, given more than $2.3 million to Michigan politicians since 2000."

The SWRA represents wine retailers, auction houses, wine clubs and their customers.

{xtypo_info}READ: Full text of SWRA statement here{/xtypo_info}

UPDATED: 11/4
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PREVIOUS UPDATE: State and Wholesalers
Appeal Retail Shipping Verdict

The State of Michigan and the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (MBWWA) are appealing a Federal court ruling that overturned Michigan's retail wine shipping law.

Both parties filed notice of their intent to appeal the ruling by Detroit-based U.S. District Court Judge Denise Page Hood to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Judge Hood ruled on September 30 that Michigan's shipping law unconstitutionally discriminates against interstate commerce. The law allows Michigan-based retailers to ship wine to state residents, but doesn't extend the same right to retailers in other states.

But Judge Hood agreed to stay (delay) implementation of her order for 30 days, due to the likelihood of an appeal. The filing of the appeal automatically extends the stay until appellate courts resolve the case.

MichWine has received multiple reports that retailers in other states are ignoring Judge Hood's stay order, and have begun to sell and ship wine to Michigan consumers. A MichWine investigation (following story) confirmed that California-based online retailer Wine.com is delivering to the state.

{xtypo_info}READ: Notice of Appeal filed by the State (Oct 23) and MBWWA (Oct 24)
READ: MichWine's original story on the court case and ruling, with prior updates{/xtypo_info}

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KIM'S SECRET STASH

Recently-deceased Korean dictator Kim Jong Il was a wine geek (and reputed alcoholic) with a 10,000-bottle cellar, according to ex-Slate wine columnist Mike Steinberger. Kim earlier gave up Hennessy Cognac on doctor's orders.