Amazon Wine is now open for business, offering 1,000 wines for customers to choose from and the ability to ship up to six bottles…to those states (currently 12 plus the District of Columbia) where shipping alcohol to customers is legal. For the rest of the US, the question of whether potential customers can purchase depends on laws that vary from state to state. In Utah and Kentucky, shipping alcohol directly to customers is a felony, while in Alabama, residents must get written permission.
What’s the Big Idea?
Other states have slightly softer regulations. For six, including Texas and Virginia, there’s a limit to the number of bottles a resident can receive per year. For another four, including Alaska, shipment is prohibited only in certain counties. The different regulations could prove to be too much of a headache for Amazon, as it has been for wineries — both online and brick-and-mortar — in the past. In a Wall Street Journal article on the subject, one winery owner says that all the different laws hurt business: “We can have customers come to Napa, love our wine, and we have to tell them we’re sorry, we can’t ship it to your state.”