Bill Gains Steam To Allow Out-of-State Wine Shipments To New Yorkers

Assembly Bill 5991, sponsored by New York State Representative Amy Paulin, would give New York wine consumers the right to receive wine shipments from out-of-state wine stores, Internet retailers, wine-of-the-month clubs and wine auction houses.

The National Association of Wine Retailers (NAWR) today announced its support for A5991. Additionally, a number of New York’s wine retailers endorsed the legislation, including:

  • Acker Merrall & Condit
  • Astor Wine & Spirits
  • Chambers Street Wines
  • Cellar Raiders
  • Crush Wine & Spirits
  • Grapes the Wine Company
  • Millesima
  • Morrell & Company
  • New York Wine Warehouse
  • Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits
  • Sokolin Fine Wine Merchants
  • Sotheby’s
  • Suburban Wine & Spirits
  • The Wine Cellarage
  • The Wine Connection
  • Winfield Flynn Wine & Spirits
  • Zachys Wine & Liquor

“Consumers of fine wine in New York State are slowly learning that it is currently illegal for them to receive shipments from out-of-state wine stores. They cannot fathom why these shipments would be illegal, while out of state wineries, New York state wineries, and New York state retailers are legally able to ship them wine.” says Tom Wark, executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers. “A5991 would give New Yorkers access to nearly every wine available in the American marketplace and that is a privilege that they should have had years ago.”

In addition to delivering consumers access to wines not currently available locally, the bill could also increase tax revenue for the state through its requirement that out-of-state retailers remit sales tax to New York, according to a press release.

Protections against minors obtaining the wine are also in the bill and mimic the same requirements for adult signatures at the time of deliver that are required of wineries that ship wine into the state.

“Wine retailers across New York understand that if they want to see the development of a free market in wine across the country, that free market needs to start right here at home,” says Daniel Posner, president of NAWR and owner of Grapes the Wine Company located in White Plains. “The kind of protectionism currently written into the law that bars New Yorkers from accessing the wines they want from out-of-state wine stores isn’t good for New York, for its consumer, nor for the state’s own retailers.”


In December 2011, in a Veto Message of A5920, Governor Cuomo reiterated in his view that the New York State Alcohol Beverage Code laws “need to be amended for modern-day business practices, specifically regarding E-commerce.”


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