Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why We Don’t Ship to Texas – or California for That Matter

One of our local wineries inquired about shipping laws to Texas. Although this information is available online, here is the personal response he got from the nice lady at the Alcohol Beverage Commission:

From: Carolyn Beck []
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 8:34 AM
To: Jim
Subject: RE: Permit

It is $470 for a two-year permit.

You will also be required to obtain a sales tax permit from the Texas Comptroller's Office.

Tax security is required in an amount of $1,000 to adequately protect the state against the anticipated tax liability and may be submitted as a: liquor tax bond from a surety company authorized to do business in Texas, or a letter of credit, or assignment of certificate of deposit or savings account from a Texas bank or credit union. These forms are available on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission web site at Once you have been in business 36 months and have paid your taxes timely, you may request an exemption from the tax liability requirement on the Application for Bond Exemption Form C-26. This form is available under "Other Forms" on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission web site.

You can find additional information about the out of state winery direct shipper's permit here:

Carolyn Beck

Director of Communications and Governmental Relations

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission


Well, that sounds simple, Carolyn. I think every Washington winery will be signing up to sell that one case a year. We wouldn't want to disappoint a customer. Believe it or not, in defense of Carolyn, she doesn't make the law. This is the 'model' shipping law as proposed by the California Wine Institute. The California version is only $10 per year for the license and the tax liability amount is only $500 (cash, no bond, deposited in a California bank payable to the Late Great State of California). I guess California wineries have more money and ship more wine than Washington wineries.

It looks like Texans are stuck with American white zinfandel vinted and bottled by Llano Estacado.

Amerika, land of the regulated and home of the bureaucrat!


  1. Gail:

    not that I have any objection to white Zinfandel, but your complaint here exposes the typical agenda that is what is really hiding behind the "regulation" defenders. Namely, that when one hears pseudo-progressive flapping heads suggesting that the solution to every problem is more regulation, what's really going on is the unholy marriage of corporatistas, nanny-state busybodies, and power-mad bureaucrats.

    Look at how one gets an "exemption" from the Texas requirements, for example. If you've been in business for 36 months, one can get a waiver. Who benefits from that? Well, let's say I am a big producer (like, Gallo, for example). Well, not that the $1000 bond is going to break me, but I don't even need to post it.

    But if you're a small, upstart, that $1000, plus the $470 biennial fee, plus compliance, may seriously discourage you entering the Texas market.

    Thus, the big producers keep you out, the politicians can say they are "regulating" business to their lefty friends, the nanny staters are "protecting" some imagined constituency, and the free-market and the customer are the only casualties.

  2. Hi Gail,
    Just stumbled upon you today. Actually, it isn't to protect the Texas Wine Industry at all. The real culprits are the major Alcohol Distributors in the State. The TABC has been in their pocket since prohibition. Specifically, Republic National Beverage Distributors and Glazer's, who combined control some 85% of the wine sold in the state and 99% of the Liquor.

    For this Texas resident's rant on the subject, I suggest you read my blog from last week:

    Rob Moshein
    Austin Wine Guy