US: State wine restrictions come under fire

By | 14 August 2013

The report attacks consumers access to wine in the US

The report attacks consumers' access to wine in the US

Restrictive laws in many US states are hampering consumers' access to wine and leaving drinkers “frustrated”, a new report has argued. 

The American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) study – 'Consuming Concerns' – grades the US' 50 states and the District of Columbia on their “wine-friendly” status. Twelve states have been awarded the lowest grade of 'F'. 

“Too often today restrictive laws concerning the direct shipment of wine, the ability to purchase wine in grocery stores, Sunday sales of alcohol, bringing a bottle of wine from ones own collection into a restaurant and poor access to products due to state monopolies on wine sales all hamper consumer enjoyment of wine,” the report says. 

The lowest-ranked state, Utah, is attacked by the report, which says that consumers there have a “remarkably limited choice of wine due to bans on wine in grocery stores, and its (the state's) prohibition on the shipment of wine from wineries and wine retailers to consumers”. 

Sunday sales of wine are also banned in the state. 

California, the District of Columbia, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon and Virginia were all awarded the highest grade, A+, for their consumer-friendly laws.

US states operate under a three-tier system for alcohol distribution - producers, distributors and retailers - introduced after the repeal of Prohibition. 

Expert analysis

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Sectors: Legislation, Wine

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