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One Law to Change Today: Refillable Wine Bottles

This is a Shiner

We’ve talked about how craft beer continues to grow and small production wine (same product, same market) has struggled to gain the same foothold.

There’s one reason for that and it’s price. I thought about this after cleaning out part of my kitchen this morning (Covid makes for some strange bedfellows) and found an old growler. Refilling a growler is one easy way to save a ton of money on beer. For a wine under $10 per bottle, often the bottle and cork cost more than the wine itself. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle this week about a small local winery here put the price of juice at $1 and the price of the packaging at $1.30. So why not remove the packaging cost from your local wine retailer and refill your wine bottle?

You legally can’t.

Why not?

There’s an old federal rule that only a licensed and bonded winery can refill a wine bottle, or any other container for that matter, meanwhile the same rules for beer simply do not exist.

It’s something we should be attempting to have changed…..although I’m enough of a realist to understand that there is almost zero chance of any regulation like this changing in our current political environment.

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