For Immediate Release May 21, 2021

Delaware Wine Shipping Bill Retains Ban on Shipment of Most Wines

—Wine Retailer Association Identifies 213,000 Wines Banned Under HB 210

Under the newly proposed wine shipping bill introduced by Representative Michael Smith, Delewareans would still be banned from receiving shipments of the majority of wines approved for sale in the United States over the past three years. While the National Association of Wine Retailers believes the intent to bring Delaware’s wine laws into the 21st Century and give the state’s residents more wine choices is laudable, it laments that the proposed wine shipping law falls well short of giving Delaware wine lovers the access to wines they desire.

House Bill 210 would prohibit any wine shipments into the state from out-of-state wine stores, specialty wine retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs, or wine auction houses, while only giving Delaware residents access to domestically made wines. The 213,000 imported wines approved for sale around the country over the past three years could not be shipped into the state.

Delaware Wine Shipping Bill Bans Delivery of All Imported Wines
“Delawareans drink wine from across the country and across the globe, but this bill bans the direct shipments of any wines from wine retail stores,” explains Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailer. “Under the proposed law no French, Italian, Spanish, German, Austrian, New Zealand, Australian, Argentine, Chilean or Canadian wines could be shipped to Delaware consumers by the only entities that sell them in the United States—wine retailers.”

The Federal government must approve all wines sold in the United States, both domestically made and imported. Over the past three years, 336,000 wines were approved for sale. Nearly two-thirds of all those wines would be banned from being shipped into Delaware under HB 210 merely because they are sold by American wine stores and not American wineries—which only sell their own wines. Additionally, HB 210 ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers would bar most collectible, rare, and older vintage wines from being shipped to Delawareans since most of these are sold by American wine stores, not American wineries.

Delaware Consumers Best Served by Bill Allowing Shipments from Retailers
“NAWR believes Delaware residents and wine lovers will be best served by seeing this bill amended to allow the state’s wine lovers to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores and wine-of-the-month clubs, as well as from U.S. wineries as the bill only currently allows,” said Wark. “Consumers have become accustomed to being able to receive shipments of products they desire and not just a small percentage of products actually available. Delaware shouldn’t be in the business of allowing only some wines to be shipped while banning other wines.

House Bill 210 has been assigned to the House Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee.

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