Cheers! Alabama lawmakers approve wine delivery bill

Cheers! Alabama lawmakers approve wine delivery bill

By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Alabamians might soon be able to have a bottle of cabernet or chardonnay delivered in the mail – as a wine shipment bill, debated for years in the Alabama Legislature, obtained final passage.

The Alabama Senate on Thursday voted 27-0 for the bill by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, and the House of Representatives voted 88-5 to accept Senate changes to the bill. It now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.

The bill would allow wineries to obtain a direct wine shipper license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to ship limited quantities of wine directly to Alabama residents 21 and older. Retailers could not ship to residents.

Alabama for years stood out as a state where alcohol could not be shipped through the mail. Collins said she began working on the legislation years ago after discovering the issue when she tried to send a present to her mother.

“I wanted to send a Mothers’ Day Basket to my mother and at the disclosure at the bottom said everywhere but Alabama. I was like, ‘What? We can’t do that?'” Collins recalled. “Working with lots of interested parties, we may have maybe made that happen,” Collins said.

Collins described the approved legislation as a compromise. Only wine producers could do shipments and not retailers.

“You can’t go to amazon.com and get your wine,” Collins said.

People could do wine of the month clubs only if the wine is shipped from the producer.

Ivey’s office has not said whether she will sign the bill, but Ivey earlier this month signed into law a measure that would let people to get beer, wine and liquor delivered to their homes by licensed delivery companies.

After years of resistance, 2021 has been a good vintage for alcohol-related bills in the Alabama Legislature. One year, legislators set up a study commission to research the issues of wine delivery after the measure could not win passage. Collins said she believes there is not as much fear about the issue now.

“People change. Opinions about things change,” House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, said last week.