Jesus and the three-tier system

Good Christmas tidings to all. On this festive day as a Catholic, I wanted to write about the reason we celebrate, Jesus Christ.

Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus performed a miracle and turned water into wine and served it to the guest during the Marriage at Cana. We will never know if all the wine was drunk on the celebratory occasion, or whether there was excess wine left over that was sold or made its way into the system.

But what we do know is that if Jesus was alive today and the wine was sold into the American system, many of us may not be able to get our hands on this wine.

I could only imagine the wine Jesus produced, being sold and aligned with the state regulatory systems. The system in many states would require Jesus to sell through a distributor and not be able to provide the wine directly to the guest at the wedding.

Further, with many states having at rest laws, the wine would need to be driven back to the liquor wholesaler’s dock, taken out of the truck and put back onto the truck.

The wine produced by Jesus may have been a miracle, but the three-tier system may have forbidden the miracle to meet its end goal of satisfying the needs of the celebrants.

As the Wedding at Cana teaches many lessons and has several parables, so does this illustration of the Wedding at Cana and the three-tier system.

In American, the liquor markets do not operate like other markets where the free exchange of goods is readily available and market forces are at play. If you want a book, you go off Amazon to order it. If you want a specific bottle of wine, it is not so easy.

Most state laws forbid the consumer from satisfying their needs via out-of-state retailer shipping.

I would imagine that the wine from the Wedding at Cana would be well sought after. As Jesus was not from the United States, it would be considered foreign wine, which means if your in-state wholesaler can’t or won’t supply the product to the market, you are out of luck. The only way to get the wine would be to order it from an out-of-state retailer and since most states ban out-of-state retailers from selling to their state residents, the most convenient way to purchase is shut off. Which means the only way to obtain the wine is to physically travel to the state where the product is sold.

Maybe a yearly wine pilgrimage every year is what the wholesalers desires. But before you get too excited, remember there are states that forbid you from bringing product back over the border.

In the end, I think God knew the Wedding at Cana could not happen in the U.S. in this day in age. Jesus making wine and then having enforcement agents writing it up for not using a wholesaler, would not have made a great Biblical story.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.