80 years after the repeal of Prohibition, we may be able to legally drink, but we are not free to choose what we drink. We still live in Prohibition's highly restrictive aftermath- A mess of ridiculous, state-by-state, anti-consumer, legislation that limits what you can purchase and who and where you can purchase from.
Hypothetically, replace wine with other products - What if you could not buy an iPhone in your state, a Toyota Prius, or even Grape Nuts???? Even if those products were not available in your state, but were available direct from the manufacturer, or a store in another state (where their residents can buy that product), or online from a small retailer, or a behemoth like Amazon-- What if it were impossible, or illegal (in some states a felony) to buy or ship those products? You would revolt and ask why can CA get all snugggy in some deep-funkn' Lucky Charms and I can only get some weak-a@! Marshmallow Mateys???? You would petition and fight because you do not have consumer equality and you crave the authentic marshmallow driven cereal! If you live in KY for instance, when it comes to buying wine, you have less rights than your neighbors in IL (well, if you live in KY, in regards to wine, you basically have less rights than almost anyone).
"Yeah, but isn't this just the backwoods, or that state where they shot Children of the Corn?"
No. A progressive, sophisticated, and cultured state like Massachusetts (where I was born), has been one of the most difficult.
On a state by state basis, consumer choices are limited for several reasons. None of them with consumer good in mind. The real reason, is that we allow our elected officials to be controlled by the special interests that profit most from restricting your choices and limiting the rights and consumer equality of each state's citizens.
So on the 80th anniversary repealing prohibition, before cracking open a bottle, please take a moment to take action. If you live in a state with restrictions (find them here), write your representives and demand that you have those restrictions repealed If you would like to be more active, sign up and become a consumer member of The American Wine Consumer Coalition.
This is simple-- If of legal age, you should be able to buy what you want, from who and where you want.
(For more information, check out Tom Wark's post on Fermentation)