200,000+ wines barred under latest legislative effort to allow shipping

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An organization representing beverage retailers says a bill that would allow Delawareans to receive wine shipments would ban more than 200,000 wines.

A release from the Wine Retailer Association estimated that 213,000 wines would be barred under the bill. In addition, the ban would include hundreds of kosher wines.

The federal government must approve all wines sold in the United States, both domestically made and imported.

According to the group, 336,000 wines were approved for sale. However, nearly two-thirds of all those wines would be banned from being shipped into Delaware under HB 210 because they are sold by American wine stores and not American wineries — which only sell their own wines.

Delaware is one of a handful of states that forbids wine shipments. Recent attempts to change the law have been unsuccessful, with alcohol beverage distributors and a liquor store association lobbying against the legislation.

In attempting to satisfy opponents, wine shipment bills have barred wineries that ship to the state’s wholesalers from shipping their offerings.

Many vintners that ship into Delaware have limited production vintages that are only sold at their winery.

The current bill, sponsored by State Rep. Mike Smith, R-Pike Creek, has bipartisan support.

The bill was assigned to Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce Committee in House.

The state’s liquor regulations were loosened during the pandemic, with to-go beer, wine, and cocktails now available alongside carryout food. However, Delaware has stopped short of allowing deliveries of alcoholic beverages.

An email request for comment was sent to Smith.

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