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Can I Order Wine and Have it Shipped to Pennsylvania?


Wine bottles packed in straw. Photo: Getty Images / Jackson Vereen

Wine bottles packed in straw.

Getty Images/Photolibrary: Jackson Vereen

Question: Can I Order Wine and Have it Shipped to Pennsylvania?

Answer: The quick answer is that out-of-state vineyards and retailers are currently prohibited from shipping wine directly to Pennsylvania residents. The Wine Institute continues to advise wineries not to ship directly to Pennsylvania consumers, and neither of the major carriers has added the state to its interstate shipment list. This doesn't mean that you won't find small out-of-state wineries willing to ship directly to Pennsylvania residents, however.


Legislation Involving Direct Shipping of Wine to Pennsylvania

In May 2005, the Pennsylvania law that allowed in-state wineries to ship wines directly to Pennsylvania residents, but prohibited out-of-state wineries from doing the same was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. This decision was further reinforced by an order from Hon. John P. Fullam, Senior Judge for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Cutner v. Newman in November, 2005. Yet, the Pennsylvania Liquor and Control Board (LCB) continues to drag its heels on promoting legislation to allow direct shipments of wine to Pennsylvania consumers. Two direct to consumer (DTC) bills have been introduced in the Pennsylvania legislature (House Bill 255, Godshall and Senate Bill 293, Ferlo), but both remain in committee. The ability for the state to collect the 18% state liquor tax (aka Johnstown Flood Tax) on out-of-state wine shipments appears to be the issue holding up any legislation allowing direct wine shipments to Pennsylvania consumers.


Direct PA Wine Shipping Workaround

Currently, if the wine is available through Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits stores (see PA wine catalog) then that is probably the safest way to purchase the wine. Wines that are not available in Pennsylvania may be purchased from a licensed Direct Wine Shipper and shipped to a PA Wine & Spirit store of your choice for you to pick up. For more information, see the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's document on Direct Shipping of Wine to Pennsylvania.


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