United States

New TTB FAQ on wine virtual tasting rooms

TTB reminds wineries of tax, other requirements


On May 15, 2020, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued a new Frequently Asked Question that addresses the applicable TTB requirements for a winery that wants to hold remote wine tastings with customers. The answer addresses topics such as taxes, Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA) requirements, container sizes, labeling, and other issues. 

FAQ W30: “I am a winery that wants to provide a ‘virtual tasting room’ experience by providing consumers the opportunity to order small containers of my wine similar in size to those found in winery tasting rooms. What TTB rules would apply?

Under TTB regulations, a winery may remove wine in a range of container sizes for sale and shipment to consumers. The requirements of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA Act), the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act of 1988 (ABLA), and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as well as the TTB regulations implementing those statutes, apply to any taxable removal from a winery premises, whether for shipments of small containers to consumers or otherwise.” 

The FAQ provides details on tax, recordkeeping and reporting requirements. It also provides information on FAA Act requirements including container size and labeling. Further, under ABLA requirements, a health warning statement must appear on the label of the alcohol beverage bottled for sale or distribution. 

Washington National Tax Observations

With the increase in virtual business operations due COVID-19, wineries have pivoted to offering virtual tasting room experiences for customers. The FAQ provides helpful information reminding wineries of existing tax obligations as well as other TTB requirements when sending small containers of wine to customers.