Released On April 22, 2010

Specialty Wine Retailers Condemn Distributor Bid to Ban Wine Shipping

(Sacramento, CALIF)—National Association of Wine Retailers Executive Director Tom Wark issued the following statement today condemning the cynical power grab by alcohol wholesalers in the form of the recently introduce H.R. 5034, a bill now in congress that would lead to severe restrictions on wine retailer shipping, irreparably damage to America’s thriving wine industry and would impede consumer access to fine wine.

“National Association of Wine Retailers condemns the shameful attempt by the National Beer Wholesalers Associations, the Wine and Spirit Wholesalers Association and their supporters to take control of the American wine industry through cynical legislation that will severely damage the American wine industry and hurt consumers, while protecting middlemen from competition.

H.R. 5034 completely relieves alcohol wholesalers from playing by the same constitutional rules that the rest of American industry must play by as it allows states to once again pass the kind of discriminatory and protectionist anti-wine shipping laws that the Supreme Court struck down in 2005.

The American wine industry will be devastated by the impact of H.R. 5034 as bans on winery and retailer shipping are passed that force all wine sales to flow through middle men who will limit the choices to which American consumers have become accustomed via the well-regulated and vibrant direct shipping channel that has sprung up since the 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision.  Passage of H.R 5034 ignores, dismisses and harms the thousands of new artisan wineries across the country, entrepreneurs inside the specialty wine retailer sector and American wine consumers—all for the sake of protecting a few billion dollar middlemen that seek to create a monopoly for themselves.

NAWR urges all members of congress, members of the American wine industry and especially the American wine consumers to stand up against the middlemen who are pushing the most devastating consumer wine legislation since Prohibition.”

National Association of Wine Retailers is a national organization of brick and mortar wine retailers, Internet wine retailers, wine clubs and auction houses that advocate for fair and well regulated trade in wine. For more information see