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Nov 28, 2008 07:19 AM

Good news for Boston wine lovers

Hopefully not too off topic for the Boston board: Both in- and out-of-state wineries may now ship directly to Massachusetts residents; volume caps struck down. Now if we can only get them to do away with the silly BYOB laws...

"After two years of legal wrangling, a federal judge struck down Massachusetts' direct shipping law this past week, ruling that the law's volume caps were discriminatory. The case could have a far-reaching impact on similar laws in other states..."

I think we should do a Boston BYOB off-line to celebrate!

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  1. Our state reps are known for not following through on voted or legal matters, i.e rolling the state tax back to 5%, should have been done years ago. I hope this is enforced, I used to have wine shipped. There are some pretty good BYOB places, be brave and set it up.

    1. Funny- We have been having wine shipped to us for years with no issues. I think their is one carrier that will not deliver to MA, but the wineries in CA must know that, and only use the ones that deliver. I have always read the alcohol cannot be shipped to MA, and thought it odd that we have no problems.

      2 Replies
      1. re: macca

        UPS and FedEx Air will not ship alcohol to MA and DHL will no longer ship any alcohol in the US at all. State law in MA requires that each delivery vehicle have a separate alcohol delivery permit, and UPS and Fed Ex feel that is too expensive. You have been lucky that your local driver has not returned the goods, that is what they are supposed to do if they know it is alcohol. There is some question about whether FedEx ground will deliver in MA.

        1. re: Wineack

          We got a delivery last week, but I cant remember who delivered it! Will have to pay attention next month. I know it is not DHL, so I will have to pay attention!

      2. I was hoping this would mean I could buy Joel Gott wines on line as my local wine shop has trouble stocking them due to limited supplies so I emailed JG and here is their reply..

        Dear Ginny,

        Thank you for your interest in our shipping to your state, however, it’s a little more complicated than it seems. MA may allow wine to come into their state now, however, we do not have a direct shipping permit which would enable us to be able to ship into MA. And, unfortunately, there are two obstacles that stand in the way of getting a permit: We produce over the maximum amount of wine that the state allows for a permit, and we have a wholesaler in the state which they do not allow also if you are trying to obtain a permit. I hope this helps in understanding why we do not ship there? Let me know if you have any questions.


        Office Manager

        1432 Main Street | St. Helena, California 94574 |
        O - 707.286.2625 | F - 707.963.3356 | |


        3 Replies
        1. re: ginnyhw

          Hmmm... then am I misunderstanding this article? My interpretation was that the ruling would eliminate those two obstacles provided it actually happens (sharing treb's upthread cynicism)...

          1. re: ns538bmk

            I'm still confused. There was a discussion about this on the Robert Parker site between several winery owners and retailers, and even they couldn't get a straight answer from the carriers. But I have received recent out of state shipments by FedEx Ground. However, Robert Foley in California, Argyle in Oregon and Garagiste (retailer) in Washington will not ship to MA at all, so I have had to ship to friends in NH (before the recent ruling).

            1. re: Tir_na_nOg

              To spare a long legal analysis, the basic gist is that the system to which Joel Gott referred is the one most recently found unconstitutional by the US District Court in MA. It was not a tough case as it directly violated a 2005 case at the US Supreme Court. So, the entire industry will have to shake out the beaurocratic mess before they start shipping here. Change is on the way and the constitution is clearly on the side of the wine producers, but there is a lot of money on both sides and we know how MA politicians like to protect their cronies.

              As for the shipping laws, the wineries are working out the deals with the shippers. Essentially shipping is responsibility of the shipper, and not the receiver (more or less). FedEx knows what they are picking up from wineries, and if the winery wants to get it to you, they will.