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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: April 16, 2019 12:04 PM
From: Representative Natalie Mihalek
To: All House members
Subject: Improving Customer Convenience in Wine Sales
In 2016, the General Assembly took a historic leap forward in providing customers with greater convenience when they purchase their wine. Act 39 of that year allowed private retailers who possess a restaurant (R) or hotel (H) liquor license to obtain a Wine Expanded Permit to sell up 3,000ml of wine for off-premises consumption. Act 39 has been hailed as the most dramatic change in liquor law since the end of Prohibition.

Contrary to the machinations of the opponents to this change, the world did not end. Instead, Pennsylvania residents finally experienced the convenience of purchasing their wine at the same place (and at the same time) that they purchase their groceries for the week. According to the Liquor Control Board Annual Report, Wine Expanded Permit holders purchased $248,605,500.00 in wine from the PLCB in Fiscal Year 2017-18 alone.

To call Wine Expanded Permits “a success” would truly be an exercise in understatement.

One complaint I hear with regularity is that consumers must abide by an artificial, statutory limit of 3,000 milliliters of wine in a single purchase. That equals 4 typical bottles of wine (750ml); 2 larger format bottles (1.5L); or a single box of wine (3L). So, if a consumer finds a great deal on a wine they like or is purchasing wine for a weekend get together with friends and family, this artificial cap compels them to make two or more trips to purchase their wine.

My legislation is a measured approach to expanding this cap. This bill would double the amount of wine that a consumer could purchase in a single purchase – from 3,000ml to 6,000ml and allow consumers to purchase up to eight (8) typical bottles of wine; or four (4) larger formatted bottles; or two boxes of wine, in a single trip.

Please consider cosponsoring this important legislation.

View Attachment

Introduced as HB1279