BevAlc Roundup | Tariffs Continue to Affect Bev Alc Industry, the Grape Glut, and When Tasting Room Experiences Go Wrong

Alex Koral | February 17, 2020

In the last few weeks, we’ve participated at several large industry events, including the annual DTC Symposium, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, and the Oregon Wine Symposium. These have all been wonderful occasions to connect with our friends and partners in the industry, but did you know that Sovos ShipCompliant also puts on conferences to showcase regulatory and market trends affecting the beverage alcohol industry? Currently, we are getting ready for the return of our Beverage Alcohol Summit, which will take place in New York City on March 24, where we will be joined by industry experts talking about need-to-know updates affecting all suppliers and wholesalers. And then, our annual Wine Summit is coming up on May 28 in Napa. To find more information on and register for these events, look on our website.

Just in case you can’t make it to one of our events, we still have the Roundup! This week, we look at how the threat of current and expanded tariffs continue to plague all aspects of the beverage alcohol industry. Then, our take on how your DtC shipping and three-tier sales markets can act in concert to grow all of your sales. And finally, how black women are establishing themselves in the wine industry and building a thriving community of support.  

In case you haven’t heard, the 2020 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report is available for download! Get your free copy of the report here.

Thanks for reading the Roundup this week. As ever, be sure to check out the rest of the Sovos ShipCompliant 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 upgrades to the wine section of our popular online formula tool and a few updates to our policies, details about a new wine treating material we’ve granted administrative approval, and a survey invite offering you the opportunity to share your thoughts on some TTB service improvements we’re considering. TTB

Possible 100% Tariffs Loom Large Over U.S. Wine Industry | Last November, the first full month the tariffs were in place, U.S. imports of EU wine decreased by 48%. Beverage Industry Enthusiast

Tariffs Have American Whiskey Makers Over a Barrel | Seven of the top ten markets for American whiskey exports were affected by the tariffs in 2019. Whisky Cast

If Mississippi Is Going to Deregulate Wine Sales, Let’s Do It All the Way | There is a well-moneyed effort percolating in the Mississippi legislature to allow wine sales in grocery stores. Y’all Politics

Total Wine & More Claims Out-of-State Discrimination in New York | Interpreting the Commerce Clause is the basis of legal arguments that will impact the beverage alcohol retail tier. Market Watch

 Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments

Co-opetition Channels: The Future of Wine Industry Growth | Direct to consumer (DtC) sales are viewed as a direct competition to traditional three-tier wine sales, but is this really the case? Sovos ShipCompliant

US Wine Shipments Increase Slightly to 409M Cases in 2019 | Wine shipments in the United States advanced slightly in 2019, continuing a more than 25-year trend of annual growth in the sector, despite growing fears of an eventual retraction. North Bay Journal

California Grape Glut Starts to Bite | The 2019 crush was smaller than the previous year’s record, but growers are still worried about oversupply. 

Oregon Wine Industry Emphasizes Unity in Tough Times | The launch of Solidarity, a wine showcasing the unity of Oregon’s wine industry in the face of contracts cancelled over concerns of smoke taint by a California vintner, was a highlight of the state’s annual symposium in Portland last year. Wine Business


Black Women Entrepreneurs Are Building Their Own Spaces in Wine | In 2016, when Shayla Varnado launched Black Girls Wine, she wanted to create a community for education, great wine and connection, all while celebrating Black women. Wine Enthusiast

The Email You Don’t Want to Get | Rob McMillan relates a winery visitor’s recent unhappy experience, highlighting where an industry that relies on customer service is falling flat. SVB on Wine

The World’s Diverging Wine Tastes | A snapshot of searches from different markets shows a changing wine market.

Drone Delivers Wine to Couple on Quarantined Coronavirus Cruise Ship | The couple’s wine club was more than happy to send wine to the cruise ship via drone, leaving the couple a little bit happier. Drone DJ