Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wine Shipping Update

Much has changed in the past year since the Supreme Court overturned New York's and Michigan's laws prohibiting out-of-state wineries to ship wine directly to consumers. Many states including New York, Ohio, Florida, and Massachusetts have liberalized their laws. Thus, more visitors to wine country will be able to have the wineries ship their purchases directly to their home or office.

But not all visitors can ship their wine home. Some states, e.g. Utah and Maryland, still prohibit direct to consumer shipments. Others allow such shipments, but require wineries to register with the State and collect taxes. For some small wineries these extra requirements are too burdensome.

A good, but not perfect, resource for learing if wineries can ship to you is the
Wine Institute. Its website contains maps for direct shipping for buyers who are making their purchases while visiting the winery or from their home. If you want to be certain that a winery can ship to you, contact the winery.

Keep in mind that wines that are distributed usually cost less when purchased at your local wine shop. This is because wineries will not undercut their distributors.

When you have wine shipped, you will have to pay a shipping fee but may not have to pay sales tax. Most wineries usually offer a discount on case (12 bottles) purchases. Some offer discounts when purchasing six bottles.

You can also arrange to have your wine shipped to most States (including some that the wineries can not ship to) through independent shipping companies in San Francisco, Napa, and Healdsburg. I can recommend shippers to you if the need arises while you are touring with me.

Lastly, a person over the age of 21 must be physically present to sign for your wine shipment when it arrives. Thus, you sometimes get acheaper rate if you ship your wine to your office.

If you want to take a private, custom tour of Napa and/or Sonoma Wine Country and buy some wine to ship home, please contact me by calling (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or by e-mailing me by clicking here.

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