Wine Shipping – Massachusetts & Michigan

Direct shipments of wines, that is wine sent directly to consumers homes, is said to account for somewhere in the range of 5% of all wine sales.  This past week two states that have been heavily involved in the outstanding issue of wine shipping seemed to have arrived at (or neared) a resolution.

Michigan was trying to favor its own in-state retailers by allowing consumers to receive shipments of wine from Michigan retailers but prohibiting out of state retailers from shipping wine to Michigan residents.  Courts ruled this to be in violation of Federal trade laws and Michigan was forced to respond.  Rather than allowing all retailers to ship wine to Michigan residents, MI instead decided that NO RETAILER, out of state OR in state would be permitted to ship wine to (or within) Michigan.  Sorry Michigan residents.

Then there is Massachusetts, a state that clearly aimed to favor its own wineries and leave out wineries from other states.   MASS instituted a law whereby only wineries that produce under a certain amount of wine can ship their wines to consumers in MASS.  (Remember that we are now talking about WINERIES & not wine retailers.)  This law was instituted to virtually eliminate all the larger wineries located in States such as California, Oregon and Washington (to name a few), while allowing most of its own states’ wineries to continue shipping to MASS residents.    A US district court judge ruled that volume caps were discriminatory.  the likely result being that ALL WINERIES, regardless of size, will be able to ship to MASS residents.  NOTE: this ruling ONLY applies to wineries and does not permit for retailers to ship wine to MASS residents.

Some interesting stuff (in my very humble opinion) giving some indications as to the direction of wine shipping within the US.

Happy LOCAL WINE SHOP wine tasting!