A wine retailers association has been formed in the US to fight what they see as uneven and unconstitutional state laws that reduce choice for consumers and keep prices artificially high.

The Specialty Wine Retailers Association has been formed with the aim of encouraging states to create a "borderless national wine marketplace that offers consumers more choice, lower pricing and more convenience, and offers states increased tax revenues".

The SWRA said that while a US Supreme Court ruling on out-of-state wine shipping applies to wineries and retailers, many states that allow direct-to-consumer shipments from wineries do not extend the same privilege to retailers. The association is aiming to correct this.

"As a result of the May 2005 US Supreme Court ruling, 33 states now allow licensed, out-of-state wineries to ship directly to their consumers," said Lesley P. Berglund, SWRA president. "But only 12 states, at most, allow retailers to do the same."

SWRA members include wine merchants, wine auction houses, wine e-tailers, catalogue companies and wine clubs, with the membership extending to 30 states.