LAST MINUTE GIFTS: US WINE CLUBS AND SHIPPING LAWS – My Latest Piece for The Alcohol Professor

The holidays are fast approaching and while some of us are on top of things, many of us (me included) have barely started getting gifts for our friends and family, and will probably be doing some serious last-minute shopping.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Takahiro Nagao

Luckily, for the wine lover on your list, there are a lot of fabulous options, with a wine subscription being a popular choice that will keep you on Santa’s “nice list” for years to come! Despite the ability for many people to have wine shipped directly to their doors, there are some regulatory hang-ups that can get in the way for many others.


While it is illegal to ship wine through the United States Postal Service (USPS), thanks to an over 100-year old law, alcohol can be shipped through FedEx and UPS (with a permit), however, where they can ship is dependent upon each state’s own laws. Alcohol shipping laws are complicated to say the least. In fact, according to alcohol beverage attorney John Hinman in a recent article on, “The laws are very complicated and vary significantly from state to state and alcohol product to alcohol product. Many of the laws and restrictions make little business sense and are enforced only when someone complains.”


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