For Immediate Release February 01, 2016

Proposed Wine Shipping Bill Needs Amending To Serve Arizona Consumers

—SB 1381 Would Bar Shipment of More than 60% of All Wines
Approved for Sale In the United States—

(Sacramento, CALIF)—The proposed bill (SB 1381) to reform Arizona’s wine shipping laws is a long needed remedy to the unjustifiable restrictions on the shipment of wine to Arizona consumers. However, without amendment the current legislation will continue to fail Arizona consumers who want to use direct shipment of wine to procure the wines they want but can’t find locally. As currently written, SB 1381 would bar direct shipment of more than 60% of all wine approved for sale in the United States.

Without amending, SB 1381 would bar Arizona consumers from having wine shipped to them from any out-of-state wine stores, wine auction house or other wine retailers across the country. As a result of this ban currently written into the bill, the following wines would be barred from shipment to Arizona consumers:

-French Bordeaux
-French Burgundy
-All other French wines
-The majority of Kosher wines
-All Italian wines
-All Spanish wines
-All German and Austrian wines
-All Austalian and New Zealand Wines
-All Chilean and Argentine wines
-All Vintage Port
-All wines sold at auction
-All wines sold in gift baskets
-Thousands of rare and hard to find American wines

Imported wines alone represent more than 60% of all wines approved for sale by the federal government in the past five years. Only American wine stores and retailers across the country sell these wines—the vast majority of which are unavailable to Arizona consumers at their local retail store. However, SB 1381 prohibits the shipment of any wine to Arizona consumers from out-of-state wine stores and retailers, but rather just allows shipping from out-of-state American wineries.

“The move to reform Arizona’s restrictive wine shipment law is a long time coming and welcome. However by barring Arizona consumers from accessing all the wines they seek and the majority of wines sold in the U.S. just continues the current problem with Arizona shipping laws,” noted Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers. “It turns out that amending SB 1381 requires no more than the addition of two sentences to the bill in order to assure Arizonans have access to all the wines available in the American marketplace and to assure that the state does not invite legal action by discriminating against imported wines in the U.S. in favor of domestic wines.”

Numerous states across the country allow the shipment of wine to their residents from both out-of-state wineries and wine retailers without experiencing any problems with enforcement nor with tax collection. More importantly, if Arizona lawmakers are ready to finally reform their outdated wine shipping law, they can do so in a manner that fully modernizes the law and gives residents full access to the American wine marketplace.

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Tom Wark, National Assocaition of Wine Retailers
[email protected] • 707-266-1449