Tennessee: New reporting requirement shows flood of direct shipment of booze

Source: The Tennessee News Journal

April 5, 2019

A million bottles of wine in the mail.

Under a reporting requirement that went into effect on July 1, companies like FedEx and UPS must disclose to the state Department of Revenue how much alcohol they ship directly to consumers in Tennessee. About 185,000 shipments weighing 3.9 million pounds arrived on doorsteps around the state through the first seven months of the budget year. At an average of about 40 pounds per case, that breaks down to the equivalent of about 1.2 million bottles of wine.

Under state law, wineries can ship up to 12 bottles to each customer per month, but no more than 36 bottles per year.

Direct shipping has been on the books since 2009, a sort of consolation prize for oenophiles who saw their efforts to legalize supermarket wine sales thwarted until seven years later.

Wineries must obtain licenses from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission to offer their products directly consumers.

The shipping companies’ reports to the Revenue Department can serve as a backstop to ensure wineries are paying requisite taxes to the state.

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