For Immediate Release September 10, 2023

NAWR Applauds First Circuit Court of Appeals’ Decision  that Rhode Island’s Ban of Wine Shipments from  out-of-state Retailers is Discriminatory

The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) released the following statement from its President David Parker concerning the First Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Anvar v Dwyer that Rhode Island’s ban on wine shipments from out-of-state retailers is discriminatory.

“We commend the decision recently handed down by the First Circuit Court of Appeals that found Rhode Island’s ban on wine shipments from out-of-state wine retailers to be discriminatory, contrary to the earlier ruling of the lower District Court. Moreover, the First Circuit Court of Appeals made the important determination that the state’s simple assertions that its three-tier system and its requirement that retailers must have an in-state presence automatically uphold the health and safety of its residents are faulty. The Court properly understood and stated that ‘concrete evidence’ for these assertions must be presented by the state.

“In remanding the case to the district court for a thorough evaluation of all the evidence concerning the validity of the state’s claims that it must discriminate against interstate commerce in wine in order to protect the health and safety of residents, the Appellate Court opened a path we believe will lead to wine consumers and being able to obtain the wines they want legally.

“This is the third Court of Appeals, following the Seventh Circuit and Sixth Circuit, to insist that the constitutionality of states’ discriminatory wine shipping laws must be determined based on evidence, not assertion or speculation as the states and wholesalers have tried to claim. 

“We are confident that the important principles of non-discrimination in state alcohol laws as laid out in the Supreme Court’s Granholm v Heald and Tennessee Wine v Thomas decisions will eventually lead to consumers finally being able to access all the wines they want from retailers across the country, rather than the limited selection currently provided by in-state wholesalers.”

Click to Download the First Circuit Court of Appeals Decision

NAWR is the leading advocate for a twenty-first century approach to alcohol regulation that doesn’t punish consumers based on where they live and for fostering a wine marketplace in which retailers can do business unencumbered by an archaic deference to an oligopoly of politically connected middlemen wholesalers.NAWR represents licensed brick-and-mortar retailers, online retailers, wine clubs, and auction houses across the country. For more information see

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Tom Wark, Executive Director
971-332-5057 • [email protected]