A proposed Senate bill will allow Alabama residents to have wine shipments delivered to their homes.
Alabama is one of six states that bans winery-to-consumer direct shipments. But proposed legislation would, if passed, allow adult consumers in Alabama to purchase a limited amount of wine directly from wineries licensed by the state to ship.
Senate Bill 243, sponsored by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate on Wednesday.
If the bill passes, people over the age of 21 could have up to 24 cases of wine shipped to their homes each year. Shippers would be required to obtain licenses from the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board. The out-of-state shippers would pay all applicable taxes on the alcohol.
Free the Grapes!, a national group of consumers, wineries and retailers, said the bill's passage would not only benefit wine lovers with greater choice, but also Alabama’s economy.
“The time has come for Alabamians to access the wines they want,” said Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes! stated in a release. “We believe consumers should determine which wines they can enjoy and how they purchase them. Senate Bill 243 will give Alabama’s wine lovers that privilege.”
He said removing barriers to winery-to-consumer shipping does not hurt local retailers or beverage wholesalers, but boosts tax collections, a benefit to the state and local economy.
“Don’t believe the scare tactics presented by opponents,” Benson said. “No state has rescinded its direct shipping laws based on non-compliance, underage access, or loss of jobs. Senate Bill 243 is a beneficial bill for the state of Alabama and a win for consumer choice.”