For Immediate Release December 14, 2015

NAWR Addresses New York Governor Cuomo’s Veto of Wine Bill

—National Association of Wine Retailers Join Governor in Calling for Legalization of Interstate Wine Sales by Wine Retailers—

(Albany, NY)—The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) expressed its disappointment today that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo choose to veto a popular, bi-partisan bill that would have reigned in an out-of-control State Liquor Authority. At the same time it applauds the Governor for calling for changes in the laws governing ecommerce in wine.

“NAWR and retailers across New York strongly supported A.5920-A as the most expedient measure for counteracting a renegade regulatory agency that sought to shut down a successful New York wine retailer for no other reason than it believed it could,” said Tom Wark, executive director of NAWR. “The New York State Liquor Authority’s actions have been arbitrary, unjust and anti-business.”

If signed into law, Assembly Bill 5920-A would haveprevented the New York State Liquor Authority from penalizing New York alcohol beverage licensees based on perceived violations of the laws of other states, unless the conduct in question amounts to an independent violation of New York’s alcoholic beverage control law or has resulted in a criminal conviction in another state.

The bill, adopted by wide margins in both the Assembly and Senate, was passed in response to the New York State Liquor Authority’s attempt to shut down Albany wine retailer Empire Wine for allegedly shipping wine illegally to consumers in other states despite the fact that no other states asked Empire Wine to stop shipping wine, nor asked the New York State Liquor Authority to take action against Empire Wine.

“NAWR takes Governor Cuomo at his word when he wrote in his Veto Message that he believes the New York laws concerning ecommerce need to be amended and that he wants to legalize interstate sales of wine,” said Wark. “There is only one way to do both and that is by changing New York law to allow direct shipment of wine to New Yorkers by both in-state and out-of-state retailers.”

The National Association of Wine Retailers represents brick and mortar wine stores, on-line wine retailers, wine auction houses and associated service companies across the country. NAWR protects and advances the interests of its members and works to changes state laws to adapt to modern day business practices. For more information see

# # #

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