Direct Wine Sales to Texas Approved

Lone Star state residents can break out the bubbly: A U.S. district judge from the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, approved a preliminary injunction yesterday that will allow both in-state and out-of-state wine retailers to ship wine to customers in Texas.

The Texas Attorney General’s office and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, acting on the interests of wine retailers and Texas consumer plaintiffs, agreed to the injunction that will lift the state’s discriminatory ban on shipments from out-of-state wine merchants to Texas consumers of legal drinking age. The injunction requires that out-of-state wine sellers use a state-approved common shipping carrier to conduct business in Texas–at least until widely used carriers like FedEx and United Parcel Service receive similar permits. The name of the state-approved common shipping carrier was not available at press time.

Last month, the Sacramento, CA-based Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) announced its support for the lawsuit filed by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, on the grounds that Texas’ laws prohibiting such out-of-state shipments were unconstitutional. SWRA president Lesley P. Berglund says that the Texas ruling represents a milestone in the Association’s goal of removing archaic laws and creating a borderless national marketplace for wine sales. “It’s a great day for Texas wine lovers,” she says. “Now they can expect competitive pricing, more convenience, and greater choice.”

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