Sorry to open a new thread, but I found myself pretty puzzled after
searching the Internet for informations about this point: is it possible
for a "small" (and in case how small is small enough?) non-US wine
producer to ship wine directly to the final consumer? Or to a retailer?
Apparently I have just found a problem whose legal details look more
complex and more difficult to grasp than the Italian counterpart..;-)
I short, yes, but . . .
Not all states will "allow" it therefore shippers such as FEDEX and UPS
or DHL will not handle the shipment. Assuming this is an occassional or
once only thing, you may send me some glassware to 225 . . .
from all what I have heard (and read), it's absolutely impossible to
ship directly to consumers just about in *any* of the 50 US states.
Wine distribution is strict state law, so there is no uniform and
single answer. Please, community, correct me if I'm wrong.
Just about the only possible way seems to to contact wine geek
importers and kindly ask them for a favor. This might work. Apart
from this group, you might also post on Mark Squires's Wine Bulletin
Board at eRobert.Parker.com.
In article ,
Unfortunately, the answer is "it depends." Not any help, but that is the best
that we, in the US, can offer. Each state has its own set of laws and rules,
mostly revolving around state taxes, and lobbiests for distributors.
Recently, a good friend (about 20 cases of his wine are in my cellar, while he
builds his own) traveled to Italy and had about six cases of wine, not readily
available in the state of Arizona (very restrictive in many wine-related
areas) for his personal consumption. All six cases made it through customs
without a glitch. I do not know all of the particulars, but do not believe
that many are imported into, and distributed, in Arizona. I know that this
antecdotal bit doesn't answer your question, but does point out that it can be
done - in some places.
Also, please note that the state laws, governing the sale of wine in the US,
are changing. Some rather quickly, though some too slowly to do (some of us)
Joe "Bepe" Rosenburg should be a good resource in this group, as he is/was in
the wine import/distribution business, and has played the games, that many
states require. Others may be able to be of specific help, as well.
Actually, it has probably been easier to form the EU, than to get any good
info on selling a bottle of wine in many of the state in the US.
Hunt - in Arizona
See also chianti thread.
I know I've done this before but as a former broker, I worked at all levels.
To import a wine into the US at a minimum you need an importer and approval
of your label & warning label by the US government--most times the importer
submits the label for you after indicating what exactly is needed and in
what font & type size. The importer multiplies the FOB or excellar price &
shipping & US Customers cost by a factor of at least 1.2.
In rare cases like Washington DC-enotecas (stores) have import licenses but
they then multiply costs by 1.5 because their prices still would be less the
A few States allow an importer to be a wholesaler/distributor if that's the
case the importer raises his prices higher as long as his/her wines are
equal to what the market is charging.
In the rest of the States the importer finds a wholesaler who must register
the wine with the State which may involve submitting another label &
comparing it to the one the US Government approved. The wholesaler charges
their cost including shipping from an importer a nark up of at least 1.3 but
more common 1.4.
The retailers than charge about 1.4 to 1.5 depending on the mark ups of
other stores that's 140-150% rounded up to x.49 0r x.99 cents. Restaurants
charge at least 200% percent of their cost more often 300% of what a
retailer would charge.
The winery is expected to supply 5% in samples and credit a seller for
US Customs can inspect any shipment and only items listed on an invoice or
manifest and conform to Government approved labels are allowed in--the
container is held until the matters resolved--generally a custom broker is
involved at the importers choice as is shippers and whether or not the
containers are refrigerated ("reefers" add $4-8 to shipping costs travel
from the East Coast to West another $6
Where Pennsylvania is concerned, there is no direct shipping (except by
in-state wineries). In limited circumstances, you can get imported wine
shipped to the state-owned store of your choice, but you still have to
go get it. Their rationale is that this keeps minors from buying wine
on the web.
in article email@example.com, filippo at
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on 1/15/07 10:41 AM:
As has been said here, alcoholic beverages are one of the most tightly
controlled consumer products in the US. I'm assuming, from your question,
that this is a commercial venture, not an individual to an individual. My
somewhat educated answer is that you would have to ship your wine to a
properly licensed importer within the US, who would then be able to ship it
to properly licensed retailers. From what I know, the importer cannot ship
directly to consumers unless his/her business is separately licensed to do
so, but I know of several who apparently do it, so it is no doubt legal.
There are wine clubs that ship direct to homes. I have a friend who
gets 3 bottles a month from the Italian Wine Club. They offer three
price points, I think. Ah, yes:
Silver Membership: Receive 3 bottles each month of great Italian wines
such as Chianti, Barbera, Dolcetto & other new style blends.
3 bottles: $49.95 + s/h per shipment
Gold Membership: Receive 3 bottles each month of distinguished Italian
wines such as Chianti Classico and Riserva, Single Vineyard Crus, and
premium varietal blends.
3 bottles: $79.95 + s/h per shipment
Platinum Membership: Receive 3 bottles each month of superlative
Italian wines such as Brunello, Barolo, Amarone and famous Super
Tuscans. (only Reds available)
3 bottles: $199.95 + s/h per shipment
The wines come packed in a large crate, well-protected.
The wines are superb, from what I have heard. Many are not widely
available at stores.
Ok, I follow up to myself to thank all the people who
gave an answer to my question. Guys, you have been incredibly
supportive, I appreciate this very much.
Thanks to Joseph Coulter, Michael Pronay, Hunt, ferment,
Joe "Beppe" Rosenberg, Dan the Man, Midlife, Emery Davis
(Emery, I tried and send you an email to the address you
said, but that bounced back to me too..). I will try and
digest this information. I will definitely let the ng know of
any progress I would make on this point.
Thank you also to those who showed appreciation for my little
contribution so far to this ng, both in this thread and in the Chianti
one as well. It is particularly encouraging that such issues
as the Chianti identity, although maybe very specific in character,
can still be of some general interest even to a faraway public
(and who knows? maybe not despite but rather thanks to being so faraway..)
Filippo, there is a curse, apparently. I'll try again using the
above address. Meanwhile, I had said:
"Emery Davis here from alt.food.wine. I was wondering if you would consider
shipping some of your wine to me here in France. I enjoyed your contribution
in the chianti thread and would be very interested in trying it..."
There's more, but I'll try again.
You can reply to email@example.com
Emery, thanks for your interest.
If using the address I am presently using, then please
transform firstname.lastname@example.org => email@example.com
(i.e. also the first bit after the at sign)
If using the other one (iselotnic.oppilif etc..) then please
transform emanrus.eman@ => name.surname@ (i.e. just the part
before the at sign)
I'm with you Barb. No way Uncle Eddie is going to let a bottle hit your door
without siphoning off a few ounces to lubricate the patronage machine.
Besides, he's got his new PLCB CEO's salary to consider.
Everything I've read about PA wine shipping rules and the ABC there
would certainly negate what little desire I would have to live there. I
know people who drive 6 hours or more to get good wine in PA.
Lucky for me I live within a half hour of both Delaware and New Jersey. :-)
To be fair, things have gotten a lot better in the PLCB in the last few
years. The recently departed chairman, Jonathan Newman, had made great
progress modernizing the system (within the limits of his powers). Many
'State Stores' are now open Sundays, and many have a specialty shop within
the store that carry's a nicer line of wines. There are even a few
supermarkets with wine and spirit stores attached. In the 5 county Philly
are there are usually at least one educated employee at each State Store who
knows wine and knows their stock. I've been blessed to live near a store
where most of the employees are pretty savvy.
It will be interesting to see if things go downhill again now that Newman
was forced out.
Yes, Newman's departure could be a big step backward, now that Ed "Big
Machine" Rendell's buddy is in charge. We were finally coming out of
the 18th century under Newman's stewardship. For now, I go to a
Specialty store in Wyomissing, west of Reading, or I patronize one of
the local producers.
the early '60s. Beautiful area.
I frequent the Conshohocken store on Ridge Pike as its near my home. I also
shop at the Bryn Mawr store near work if I run errands at lunch. That has
proven to be frustrating when the manager is not there as no one else knows
where anything is.