Shipping wine within the United States can be confusing, because it’s up to the state whether or not you can receive wine in the mail. Alaska brings an extra layer of complication to the mix, because it can be harder to find retailers that ship outside of the mainland United States.
The good news is the wine shipping laws in Alaska are not overly complicated – you just have to know which communities have restrictions, and which don’t.
Read on to discover the wine shipping laws within Alaska, which wine clubs are the best options to choose from, and which retailers will ship wine to Alaska.
Alaska wine delivery services
- Overview of wine shipping laws in Alaska
- Wine clubs that ship to Alaska
- Other companies that ship wine to Alaska
Overview of wine shipping laws in Alaska
Before we discuss which companies ship wine to Alaska, let’s dive into the state’s shipping laws.
According to the Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office of Alaska, Alaska doesn’t limit or tax alcohol brought into the state for personal use – it only gets taxed when the alcohol is put up for resale. Essentially, out-of-state suppliers can ship alcoholic beverages to Alaska residents without any issues.
However, 75 Alaskan communities have banned the importation of alcoholic beverages by choice, and it’s illegal to ship to these communities. If you have questions about which communities cannot receive shipments of alcohol, many companies like FedEx and UPS have these communities listed on their websites as well.
Alaska doesn’t regulate out-of-state suppliers, but only wholesalers that are licensed in Alaska may import alcoholic beverages for resale.
Wine clubs that ship to Alaska
Alaska isn’t exactly a winery hotspot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quality bottle of wine in the state. Alaska doesn’t restrict wine subscription companies from shipping alcohol to the state, unless you live in one of the communities that have made it illegal.
What’s great about wine clubs is that there are many different ones to choose from, depending on your wine preferences.
You can try wines of different colors, sweetness, body, regions, and dryness from the comfort of your home. Just because you are out of the way in Alaska doesn’t mean you can’t try an amazing Malbec from Argentina or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
Based out of Napa, California, Firstleaf is a popular wine club that ships to Alaska. In fact, Firstleaf ships wine to 48 out of 50 states.
The great thing is, for your first shipment, Firstleaf gives you a heavy discount at 60 percent off, so you can see whether or not it’s the right fit for you. You can choose whether you would like a shipment every month, every other month, or quarterly.
To build your personalized box, you will first choose whether you want to receive red, white, or a combination of both wines. Then you will fill out a questionnaire that gives Firstleaf the insight it needs to give you a box based on your own personal taste preferences.
To get a sense of how much you liked your box, Firstleaf requests the user to give feedback for every bottle of wine that has been shipped, so it can further adjust your flavor profile.
If you’re not satisfied with a bottle that has been sent to you, Firstleaf will give you a full refund and record that you did not like the wine, so it’s not shipped to you again.
Additionally, the selection of wine offered on Firstleaf is huge. Members have the ability to choose wines from five continents and 12 different countries, including Italy and France, for $15 or less per bottle. If you are looking for a wide selection at a reasonable price, Firstleaf is worth checking out.
Joining this wine club is very simple. First, you’ll go through a questionnaire based on your flavor preferences, or if you’re unsure as to what type of wine you would like, Vinesse will put together a box for you to try. As you taste different wines, you get to rate them, so future boxes are individually customized to your tastes.
The good thing about Vinesse is that, based on your preferences, you can save money through various discounts when you reorder wines you love.
Vinesse caters to you and allows you to put your box together if you have the confidence to do so, or you can take advantage of their suggestions if you are new to wine tasting.
However, one downside to Vinesse is that there is a 35 percent charge for orders shipped to Alaska and Hawaii.
What’s great about Naked Wines is it started when a large group of wine enthusiasts wanted to find a way to support independent wineries. Naked Wines purchases directly from these independent wineries, which allows members to save up to 60 percent compared to retail prices.
The prices are more than affordable, but what about the quality of the wine?
On Naked Wines’ roster, there are 150 wines that have been awarded gold medals from prestigious critics, such as the International Wine & Spirits Competition. That goes to show you that you can get a top-quality wine without breaking the bank.
Naked Wines is also a great club to access bottles you might have a hard time finding on a retailer’s shelf, especially in Alaska.
They are also all about transparency with the products offered, as it has a review page that allows winemakers and you to interact. Not to mention, with Naked Wines you’re supporting smaller wineries, rather than mass-produced wines from huge companies.
Other companies that ship wine to Alaska
Apart from the three wine clubs mentioned above, there are a number of other subscriptions that are open to Alaskan residents.
Other wine clubs that ship to Alaska
There are additional clubs that also send wine to Alaska. Here are a few of them:
- Sunset Wine Club
- SomMailier Wine Club
- High-End California Club
- Aged Cabernet Series
- Decanter Wine Club
- International Selections
- Connoisseurs Club
- Pacific Northwest Club
- California Premiere Club
How to order wine online in Alaska
There aren’t a ton of restrictions on shipping wine to Alaska. Obviously, the recipient must be 21 years or older, but beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot to watch out for. The most crucial thing to know is that certain communities have made the shipping of alcohol illegal based on their own accord. This is not a state law, it’s considered a felony in said communities.
As long as it’s legal to ship to a given community, there aren’t a ton of restrictions. Both wine clubs and wine retailers can ship to Alaska, but finding a retailer or club that will ship to this state is a bit harder than shipping to a state on the mainland.
Also, there are companies that will charge you extra to ship to Alaska because it’s not part of the US mainland (especially when you use FedEx or UPS), which makes shipping wine to Alaska a little pricier. Beyond that, there aren’t any additional taxes on alcohol shipments within Alaska.
Wine retailers that deliver to Alaska
There are retailers that will ship wine to Alaska, although they’re harder to find than in many mainland states.
Also, retailers that use UPS and FedEx will charge more for shipping to Alaska, since it’s outside the mainland United States. Some of the retailers that ship to Alaska include:
- Total Wine (FedEx and UPS)
- Henri’s Reserve (FedEx)
- BevMo (UPS)
- Ninety Cellars (FedEx)
- Organic Wine Exchange
- One-Stop Wine Shop (FedEx and UPS)
- My Natural Wine Club (FedEx and UPS)
- Reserve Bar (FedEx and UPS)
- Gloria Ferrer (FedEx and UPS)
- Instacart (FedEx)
Be sure to be on the lookout for discount codes, as shipping to Alaska can be pretty pricey. A few of these retailers will give you a discount if you are diligent enough to look for the coupons available online.
Although the wine shipping laws are not too strict in Alaska, you must be aware of which communities don’t allow the shipment of alcohol, as this can be a felony and could result in some hefty fines.
Beyond that, if the community deems the shipment of alcohol legal, it’s actually a pretty simple process to receive wine in the state of Alaska. The tricky part is finding wine retailers that actually ship to Alaska, as many companies only deliver to mainland states. Most wine clubs ship to Alaska, but some will have a higher shipping price depending on which shipping company they use, so that is something to watch out for as well.
For wine connoisseurs that live in Alaska, never fear. There are many options for you to receive the wines you love, and try new bottles. All you have to do is conduct a little research to find a good company that ships wine to the Last Frontier.
About the author
I’m a resident of Orange County, California originally hailing from Pennsylvania, so I’m a huge fan of Philadelphia-based sports teams. Some of my loves are my family (including my husband, one-year-old son, pit bull, and dachshund), animals, writing, working out, and all forms of alcohol especially wine. I worked at BevMo for over five years, so I definitely know my way around beer, spirits and wine. I am very passionate about wine and am a huge fan of all styles, but I have a soft spot for a great Sauvignon Blanc on a hot day. A fun fact about me is that I love hedgehogs and dogs, and I spend as much time as I can volunteering for animal rescues.