The 11 Important Facts You Need To Know About the Wine Industry in 2022

It’s always a good idea to review the facts that govern our lives in the alcohol industry. The first days of the new year, when we are looking forward to what’s coming down the pike is a particularly good time to review the facts of the industry in which we toil. Listed below are not all the facts that we need to keep in mind as we move forward in 2022. But they are some of the more important basic facts that govern our lives in the wine, beer and spirits industry.

1. States that bar the shipment of alcohol to consumers from out-of-state wine retailers, wineries, brewers, and distillers but allow their own retailers, brewers, wineries, and distillers to ship alcohol are violating the U.S. Constitution’s Dormant Commerce Clause.

2. “Three Tier System” is a term of art, used in a myriad of ways depending on what the user’s agenda is.

3. The most useful definition of “Three Tier System” and the one the Supreme Court of the United States has endorsed is a state regulatory system that licenses separately producers, wholesalers, and retailers and requires all wine sold at retail in the state to move through a wholesaler first.

4. States may not bar their residents from buying wine from an out-of-state source, be it a retailer or winery. The question is how once purchased, that wine may be brought into the buyer’s state.

5. No state’s wholesalers offer that state’s retailers and restaurants more than a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of wines available somewhere for sale in the United States

6. Local alcohol delivery apps like Drizly don’t increase a consumer’s selection of products. Only interstate direct shipment can do that.

7. There is no study that shows minors obtain alcohol in any amount via direct shipment. In fact, nearly every study ever conducted shows that the home is the primary source of alcohol for minors.

8. Middlemen wholesalers and their state and national trade associations have as one of their primary missions to restrict consumers’ access to wine beyond what is distributed by then locally and spend millions of dollars annually to restrict consumers’ access to wine.

9. The Supreme Court of the United States has said that no state may discriminate against interstate commerce unless it can show the discrimination advances a legitimate state interest that cannot be advanced by non-discriminatory laws. The 2005 Granholm and 2019 Tennessee Wine decisions made this clear.

10. In 2021 the Federal Government’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved 113,835 new wine labels for sale in the United States, of which 62% were imported wines. It is likely that more than this will be approved in 2020.

11. In 2022, American wine and beer wholesales will give roughly $15 million in campaign contributions just to state-based political campaigns in an effort to continue to control the states’ regulatory systems and prevent consumers from gaining access to the wines, beer and spirits they want.

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Posted In: Wine Business


5 Responses

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