For Immediate Release June 08, 2021

Delaware Set to Ban Hundreds of Kosher Wines in Wine Shipping Bill

—Under Current Provisions of HB 210, Delaware Consumers Will
Be Banned From Receiving Shipment of more than 600 Different Kosher Wines—

(Dover, DE)—Under the provisions of the latest Delaware Wine Shipping bill, hundreds of Kosher wines will be made off-limits to Delawareans. These Kosher wines produced around the globe would not be allowed to be ordered or shipped to Delaware’s Jewish or gentile wine lovers simply because they are only sold by out-of-state wine retailers, all of which would be banned from shipping wine into Delaware under the provisions of House Bill 210.

The latest iteration of wine shipping legislation, HB 210, would only allow Delawareans to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wineries, rather than from both out-of-state wine retailers and wineries. The vast majority of kosher wines in the United States are sold by specialty wine retailers across the country, while only a very small number of Kosher wines are sold by Delaware wine stores or American wineries.

More than 600 Kosher Wines Will Be Off Limits to Delaware Consumers
“Over the past three years, more than 600 different kosher wines have been approved for sale in the United States, including more than 300 alone from Israeli wineries,” notes Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers. “The explosion of imported wines coming into the United States is a response to American wine drinkers’ recent desire to explore the diversity of the world’s wines, including Kosher wines produced by Israeli, French, Italian, Spanish, and Chilean wineries. However, under HB 210 the overwhelming majority of Kosher wines in the American marketplace will be banned from shipment to Delaware residents.”

In all, the wine shipping bill awaiting a hearing in the House Economic Development Committee would ban more than 200,000 wines currently available in the American marketplace. In the last three years the federal government, which must approve wines for sale in all states, has approved more than 200,000 imported wines for sale by American wine retailers. The vast majority of these wines are not available in Delaware and would need to be shipped to consumers who desire them. HB 210 would bar shipment of wines from out-of-state retailers and only allow it from out-of-state wineries.

“There is no ethical, legal or moral justification for Delaware lawmakers to ban their constituents from receiving shipments of Kosher wines, nor the hundreds of thousands of other imported wines sold by America’s independent fine wine retailers,” says Wark. “In the end, the ban on shipments from out-of-state retailers is a mere protectionist ploy meant to favor a small group of middlemen wholesalers from competition at the expense of consumers. Our hope is that the bill’s sponsors choose a more rational route toward the laudable goal of legalizing wine shipments and don’t endorse a ban on the shipment of Kosher and other imported wines.

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Tom Wark, Executive Director
National Association of Wine Retailers
971-332-5057 • [email protected]