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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Law - Indiana wine shipping prohibitions hit home to former Star reporter

The ILB, which has posted many entries on the wine shipping issue over the years, noticed these tweets by former IndyStar statehouse reporter Mary Beth Schneider on July 13th. Schnider was vacationing in California wine country:

On July 14th the Wine Spectator run this story by Robert Taylor, headed "U.S. Wine Shipping Laws, State by State: Where can consumers have wine shipped directly to their homes?" Here is a sample:
Which wineries and retailers will sell and ship wine directly to consumers varies from state to state, winery to winery and retailer to retailer. In most states, consumers may have wine shipped to them directly from a winery, though most states prohibit consumers from ordering wine from an out-of-state retailer. Today it is illegal for a state to permit consumers to buy wine directly from an in-state winery but not from an out-of-state winery, but a state's right to regulate retailer shipping is less clear, and most states will allow consumers to have wine delivered from a local retailer, but not from one beyond the state's borders.

As for who does the actual delivering, it's not the United States Postal Service, which won't accept packages containing alcohol. Most direct-to-consumer wine deliveries in the United States are handled by a common carrier such as UPS or FedEx, and the package must be signed for by an adult age 21 or older.

If that all weren't enough to keep track of, wine-shipping laws are very loosely enforced: Some wineries and retailers are happy to ship wine to states that may not permit it, and not since Prohibition has an adult consumer been prosecuted for illegally receiving wine for their own personal consumption. Many wine lovers have violated their state's wine shipping laws without even realizing it.

So how did we fall into this seemingly impossible-to-navigate sea of shipping laws?

Don't miss the great charts and table that accompany the Wine Spectator story.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 16, 2014 11:32 AM
Posted to Indiana Law