Topeka — Wine could be served at the Kansas State Fair and flow in and out of the state in greater volume thanks to a bill lawmakers sent Tuesday to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
The Senate passed the compromise legislation 36-2 after the House approved it 87-36, with some lawmakers saying they didn't like the idea of wine being served at the fair, where beer already is sold. Rep. Jan Pauls, D-Hutchinson, said the fair should be an event that doesn't need alcoholic beverages to improve its entertainment value.
The bill would allow wineries in Kansas and out-of-state to ship directly to consumers if they are at least 21 years old and make the purchase at the winery.
The bill also would allow wineries, both inside and outside of Kansas, to ship wine to where the person could pick it up at a liquor store when it's ordered by phone or over the Internet.
Kansas wineries also could ship to other states in conformity to their laws.
The compromise also would permit restaurants to allow patrons to take an open, unfinished bottle of wine with them if it's placed in a tamperproof transparent bag for the ride home.
Kansas law prohibits direct shipping of any wine, regardless of origin, but its 13 "farm wineries" are allowed to deliver their products directly to retail outlets.
The legislation was prompted by a May 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said states that allow direct shipping of wine to in-state customers must extend out-of-state wineries the same privilege.