BevAlc Roundup | California Revamps Sales Tax Rules, What’s Impacting the DtC Market, and Is Climate Change Affecting How Wine Tastes?

Daniel Kostrzewa | May 20, 2019

We are now a little over a week away from our 2019 ShipCompliant by Sovos Compliance Wine Summit. This annual event, previously known as the DIRECT conference, is one of the highlights of the year for us at ShipCompliant by Sovos, as we are able to connect directly with our users on what is happening in the world of wine regulation and what changes we are making to our services to better enable this industry to remain in compliance with those regulations.

There have been a number of changes over the past decade both to the regulation of the wine market, particularly the direct-to-consumer shipping market, and to ShipCompliant itself. But what hasn’t changed is our commitment to connect with and support our users. So if you haven’t signed up yet, sign up today! This year’s Wine Summit will be held on May 30 at the Napa Valley Marriott.

For this week’s roundup, we look at recent changes to California’s sales tax regulations that will have a big impact on wineries making direct-to-consumer shipments in the state; there was also some major news last week in the world of wine criticism, when Robert Parker announced his retirement after decades of shaping the taste of wine; and we jump on the Game of Thrones bandwagon, and look at some recent brands that have come out based on the wildly popular series.

In case you haven’t heard, the 2019 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report has been published. Download your copy today here.

Thanks for reading the Roundup this week. As ever, be sure to check out the rest of the ShipCompliant by Sovos blog for regular updates, and we’ll see you again in another couple of weeks.

Regulatory News and Discussions

TTB Newsletter | This week’s top news includes some of the most common reasons why we return alcohol beverage formulas for correction. Also, two of our senior leaders were recently awarded the 2019 Treasury Leadership Legacy Honor, and we’re hiring an alcohol labeling specialist in Washington, DC. TTB

California Amends Tax Rules for Delivered Sales Affecting Instate Wineries | California’s recent change establishes a requirement on in-state businesses to collect more local district taxes, which will affect almost every winery shipping wine in the state. ShipCompliant by Sovos

Trump’s Trade War With China Hurting U.S. Wine Industry’s Bid to Increase Sales There | New tariffs imposed by Beijing Monday will make U.S. wine an even more expensive product for Chinese consumers, as their leaders battle with the Trump administration in an escalating trade war between two of the world’s largest economies. Press Democrat

Majority of US Senators Support Permanent Tax Reform for Brewers, Importers | A majority of U.S. Senators support making permanent excise tax relief for alcohol producers and importers. Brewbound

Governor Signs Bill Changing LIquor Distribution Rules | Oklahoma Senate Bill 608 requires the top 25 wine and spirits manufacturers to offer their products to all wholesalers. The Journal Record

Another Attempt to Let USPS Ship Alcohol | Legislation has recently been reintroduced in the House to allow the Postal Service to ship alcoholic beverages to consumers. Fed Smith

Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments

A Tribute to Robert M. Parker Jr. | The father of modern wine criticism, our publication’s founder and namesake, my greatest mentor and a dear friend, it is with mixed feelings that I announce that Robert M. Parker Jr. will, as of today, be formally hanging up his wine criticism boots and retiring from Robert Parker Wine Advocate. Robert Parker Wine Advocate

US Wine, Beer, Spirits Consumption “In a Holding Pattern” as Public Leans Toward Less Alcohol | The huge size of the 2018 wine grape harvest in the North Coast and California and the changing tastes of U.S. consumers other beverages were evident in sobering sentiments of industry professionals and consumers presented at the outset of the event. North Bay Business Journal

Top Issues Impacting the DTC Channel | About five years ago, 90% of direct-to-consumer wine sales came from tasting room visitors and wine clubs. Now, that’s dropped to about 40% with the other 60% of DTC sales coming from online shopping, according to ShipCompliant general manager Larry Cormier. Wine & Spirits Daily

Pride in a Job Well-Done, or Blood Money? | The cost of learning the truth from the TTB about the benefits to investigators from making cases against industry members. Booze Rules

New Distribution Service Offers Brewers a Chance to Test Markets, Fill Excess Capacity | Starting in June, nine U.S. states will begin receiving limited shipments of popular but hard to obtain craft beers via a new program called “Guest Brewer.” Brewbound


Wine Tasting in Westeros | Game of Thrones, one of the biggest television events in history, has spawned a range of merchandise. But is wine from a world of assassination, brutality and zombies safe to drink? Drinks Today

Do Your Favorite Wines Taste Different? | There’s a good chance it’s because of climate change. Heated

How Sulfites Affect a Wine’s Chemistry | Wine professionals discuss sulfur’s impact on everything from oxidation to aromatic compounds and texture. SevenFifty Daily

These Experimental Distilleries Are Using Science to Artificially Age Whiskies | From soundwaves to pulses, nothing is off limits. Robb Report

What Are the Most Asked Questions in a Wine Shop? | Unlike restaurants, where it’s easy to feel restricted by the selections or intimidated by sommeliers, wine stores are the perfect place to take your time and learn new things. Wine Enthusiast


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