This little piggy went to his wine shop - AFTER August 1st!So... did you miss me?? In the next couple of weeks we'll be circling around to some topics that popped up over the course of my vacation -which wasn't specifically wine related, but, well, you know me! Wine is a big part of my life. Before we can get to all that, however, we have to get down to business. Immediately. For Massachusetts residents like myself, there's only one wine news item to be discussed today: the MA State Wine Tax.

As of tomorrow - Saturday, August 1 - this much anticipated, much debated, (much hated) tax goes into play. That's right! When your office doors close early today, get yourself moving on over to your local shop to take advantage of the many discounts available in the final hours before we go from the blissful world of NO tax on wine to a whopping 6.25%! No joke.

Many stores are offering ridiculously good discounts to help customers stay ahead of the curve, for at least as long as your purchases hold out anyway. ;) Here's a brief list of folks working to better serve you; if your local shop isn't on here, be sure to give them a call! I'd be willing to bet their anteing up the discounts, too.

Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville ~ 20% off twelve bottles ~ Any assortment of 750 ml bottles, sale items excluded

Bermans Wine and Spirits in Lexington ~ 20% off twelve bottles

Lower Falls Wine, Co. in Newton ~ 10% off twelve bottles, 20% off 36 bottles

Shubie's Marketplace in Marblehead ~ 20% off twelve bottles, 10% off six bottles ~ Any assortment, current inventory of 750 ml bottles, sale items excluded

What other stores are offering deals you know about?

WHO: Wine-Sense in Andover WHEN: Thursday, July 30 WHAT: 15% discount all day long, plus tasting from 5 p.m. to closing

WHO: South Liquor Mart in Plainville WHAT: 15% off six bottles of wine WHAT ELSE: Beer and alcohol specials too

WHO: Shubie's Marketplace in Marblehead WHAT: 20% off twelve bottles, 10% off six bottles SPECS: Any assortment, current inventory of 750 ml bottles, sale items excluded

WHO: Bermans Wine and Spirits in Lexington WHAT: 20% off twelve bottles