Airing between regular episodes of the VinePair Podcast, “Next Round” explores the ideas and innovations that are helping drinks businesses adapt in a time of unprecedented change. As the coronavirus crisis continues and new challenges arise, VP Pro is in your corner, supporting the drinks community for all the rounds to come. If you have a story or perspective to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this “Next Round,” Tom Wark, executive wine director of the National Association of Wine Retailers’ (NAWR), talks with VinePair podcast host Zach Geballe about how the association is working to make direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping available to consumers around the U.S.
Wark explains that the NAWR’s members are primarily small, independent wine retailers that specialize in high-end wines, and many that sell wine online and ship products nationally. According to Wark, the NAWR is looking to level the playing field for all wine retailers, online and off, so that consumers can purchase wine from anywhere, regardless of the state a shop is based in. Currently, only 15 states and the District of Columbia allow retailers to ship wine out of state.
The NAWR is currently involved in numerous lawsuits throughout the U.S. that challenge the discriminatory laws of the three-tier system. As Wark explains, this antiquated system limits retailers to purchasing products from wholesalers within their own states. With one case potentially on its way to the Supreme Court, Wark says, if the court rules in favor of the NAWR, states will no longer be able to ban out-of-state retailers from shipping to consumers.
For now, consumers can do their part by contacting local officials and representatives and asking them to consider allowing out-of-state retailers to sell wine in their states.