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Tennessee Wine lovers is a network site for Tennessee Consumers for Fair Wine Laws. We want access to the tens of thousands of wines not available in the state and at reasonable prices as they are in other states who have changed their legislation to promote more competitive pricing.

In fact a Trade Commission Report in July 2003 concluded that in states that allowed direct shipping of wine, consumers paid on the average 21% less for wine. We have found differences of up to 40% more for wine in Tennessee compared to some discount out-of-state wine retailers selling by e-commerce.

Tennessee laws essentially make any sort of wine collecting or enjoyment of vintage wines illegal. Thirty-five states have some sort of direct shipping of wine from out-of-state wine retailers but Tennessee is one of the fifteen states in which a consumer cannot order wine from an out-of-state retail store. We can order wine now (since July 2009) from out-of-state wineries if they purchase a shipping permit from the state ($300 application fee and $150 annual fee plus a bond for the Tennessee Revenue Department). Shipping into the

Now this does not mean that all wine retailers will refuse to ship to Tennessee, but if they do, they and you run the risk of the wine being confiscated and possibly the shipper or you being charged with a felony. In practice, many retail wine merchants will ship to Tennessee and I don't know of any cases in which the State has actually confiscated any shipments or charged anyone for have wine shipped from a retailer. I suspect that some of the retailers would just as soon be prosecuted by the state so that they can challenge the laws against retailers shipping wine.

 

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Shipping wine or liquor into our state (eg. from specialty wine retailers) without a shipping permit is a felony punishable by 1-2 years in jail. Neighboring states North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Missouri can have wine shipped into the state to consumers but Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama cannot. In Kentucky wineries can obtain permits but shipping can only take place to "wet" cities and counties. Because of the difficulty of identifying "wet" and "dry" areas in Kentucky, common carriers (Fed Ex and UPS) refuse to ship wine into the state.

Thirty-three states sell wine in grocery stores, including six of Tennessee's border states Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas. We support the sale of wine in grocery stores because the competition with other retail wines sales results in lower prices to consumers as well as an increase in the number of wine varieties and brands available. Our Tennessee legislators in the House State and Local Government Sub Committee tabled wine-sales-in-grocery-stores bills in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 in spite of the fact that polls showed over 70% of the population in favor of such sales. In other words, that subcommittee prevented the wine-in-grocery-store bills from coming to a vote in the full chambers of the House and Senate where it likely would pass.

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