Hi Guildees, I hope you are all having a great day.
I may assist in holding a wine dinner at a local WI Supper Club and have a few questions about distribution.
More specifically, can an out of state winery ship wine to WI for a wine dinner, not for everyday sale, or do they have to go through a distributor? I thought not, but this link below made me think otherwise.
One of the largest challenges for restaurants is receiving local wines. Here is a list of possibilities that wineries can do in order to enhance the restaurant-winery relationship:
Thanks in advance and best wishes, Jennifer
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/125 What you can and can't do in Wisconsin would be in that super fun to read document. Ask a local distributor what the laws are- they would probably have the most up to date information about what you can do there!
Jennifer - Out of state wineries are allowed to ship across state lines so getting the wine to the restaurant would not be a problem. I'm not familiar with local laws in WI but if corkage is allowed and it's a 1-time dinner you could just ship the wines out and treat them like someone bringing their own bottle of wine into the restaurant.
However, if the restaurant wants to continue working with the wines, then you'll definitely need a local distributor.
There should be a state alcohol board in WI, I'd look into your state's laws and see what is and isn't allowed.
Thank you so much, I didn’t think about reading the statutes!
Reading them are much more fun with the “find on this page feature” on my phone hahaha.
Shipping across state lines is allowed in many cases but each state has their own interpretation of the way alcohol is sold in their state. Usually that shipping is for personal consumption. You can run into trouble if you ship wine to your licensed account and then sell that wine for a profit without paying the state taxes if those are the local laws. Always check first! Our national laws were written up in the 1930's and there's a lot of gray area. The problem with these gray areas is that we might think we are doing something okay but the local Revenue Department thinks differently. Think about what Americans were drinking in the 1930's as opposed to now. I don't even know if wine was invented yet. As America drinks more things, the laws are changing regularly. Because of states' rights the laws are wildly different depending on where you are. We might not necessarily agree with how each state handles booze but make sure you aren't breaking any laws to protect your business. Many wineries should know as well the laws concerning shipping to any state as well. Here's a great little read on the headache that it is... https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/five-interesting-facts-about-prohibitions-end-in-1933
It's definitely fascinating to me though, once I finish the semester for school, I'm going to do more research on how government regulations can impact the wine industry for fun lol.
I had a guest the other day, who had noted that it was cheaper to purchase California wine in Germany than in the United States. I could see why from a tax perspective but would like to quantitatively understand why.