When it comes to shipping wine in the United States, the rules can be a bit confusing.
While most states permit winery-to-consumer shipments, the majority do not allow retailer-to-consumer shipments, including the state of Michigan. Also, wineries in Michigan need a special license to ship wine to their customers.
In this guide, we’ve explained how wine delivery to Michigan works, and what the best services are to get wine delivered in the state.
Michigan wine delivery services
Michigan wine shipping rules
Before diving into companies that will ship wine to Michigan, it is important to understand the state’s shipping laws.
There are no individual restrictions unless a winery ships more than 1,500 cases per year to the state. There are also no regional limitations, and while shipping from out-of-state wineries is permitted, shipments from out-of-state retailers are not legal.
Here is a closer look at the different areas of Michigan’s wine shipping regulations. In short, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) permit is required to send wine to the state.
A 6% state sales tax is required for purchases, and shipping itself is taxed. An excise tax is required, and shipping records must be kept for at least four years.
The package must be marked to say that it contains alcohol, can only be delivered to someone who is 21 or older, and must be signed for.
Companies that ship wine to Michigan
States that allow outside wine deliveries now permit shipments from wine clubs. Rather than packages sent from a single winery, these companies send out monthly or quarterly shipments from several different wineries.
The purpose is to introduce members to new wines they might not have found on their own, while still giving you the freedom to choose which bottles you want.
Wine clubs have different options depending on your preferences – subscriptions with different styles, sweetness, color, region, and varietals of wine are available.
Here are three wine clubs that ship to Michigan, along with an overview of their features and benefits
A larger volume wine club, Firstleaf is based out of Napa, California, and ships to the state of Michigan.
Customers can select red or white wines or a blend of both for their subscription. The way this works is, after answering a few questions about your wine preferences, Firstleaf begins to create a profile for you based on your tastes, to curate individualized selections.
This club does have a deeply discounted first-order offer, and its prices per bottle are up to 60% off the retail cost. Firstleaf offers a wide selection of wines, and members can choose to have their wines shipped every 1, 2, or 3 months.
The club further customizes shipments by requesting your feedback on each bottle of wine that is shipped. This is how Firstleaf builds customized profiles and selections for each member. If you are not happy with a bottle of wine that is sent to you, this wine club offers a full refund, which is a very generous customer satisfaction policy.
Speaking of generosity, let’s talk about the selection of wines available from Firstleaf. Members can choose winesfrom twelve countries and five continents for $15 or less per bottle. If you’re looking for a wide range of wines to choose from at a low per-bottle cost, Firstleaf is a great choice.
2. Naked Wines
Almost like a crowd-funded club, Naked Wines was born when 300,000 wine drinkers set out to support independent winemakers. By purchasing directly from the wineries, Naked Wines members can save up to 60% on retail prices.
Naked Wines offers over two million reviews of their bottles to help members find their ideal selections. Don’t let the low prices fool you – this club boasts some world-class wines.
One Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon won a double gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition, with 95% of Naked Wines customers stating they would purchase this wine again.
Overall, Naked Wines is known for its unique selection, and winemakers who frequently interact with members on the review page. This club is based on transparency and community, and if you join, you’ll be supporting small winemakers.
For a more luxurious wine selection, Gold Medal Wine delivers in this area.
This wine club is actually six different clubs housed under one brand. Customers can choose to join Gold, Platinum, International, Garagiste, Pinot Noir, or the Diamond Club.
Each option boasts hard-to-find selections from boutique wineries, with several being rated 90 points and above by a panel of wine critics.
Established in 1992, this club has been delivering one-of-a-kind wines to customers in the United States for over 30 years. The different membership options open doors to a wide array of tastes and budgets, making Gold Medal exclusive but inclusive at the same time. For those who want to really discover unique wines, this is an excellent place to do it.
Gold Medal Wine also stands out with its extra little touches. For example, each shipment comes with the club’s newsletter, information about the winemakers and winery histories, recipes that pair with the wines, and even tasting notes.
Several other wine clubs also deliver to Michigan. These include:
- Bright Cellars
- Eater Wine Club
- Wine of the Month Club
- Laithwaite’s Wine
- Plonk Wine Club
- Bounty Hunter
- WSJ Wine
How to order wine in Michigan
As long as a Michigan winery has a DTC permit, it can ship alcohol to a residence or business in the state, although obviously the recipient or signer must be 21 or older. Wine clubs can deliver to Michigan, and wine gifts can be sent to its residents.
Some retailers are permitted to deliver wine in the state. The most versatile is Instacart since you can select from several different stores. Just add wine to your cart, and it will arrive with the rest of your items.
Like many other states, Michigan is still governed by outdated Prohibition-era alcohol shipping laws.
While out-of-state wineries and wine clubs can send bottles to Michigan, wine retailers cannot. So if you fell in love with a zinfandel bottle for example that is only available at a charming little boutique in Ohio, you can’t have that wine shop send a bottle to Michigan.
Speaking of logistics, only certain companies can deliver wine in Michigan. Alcohol delivery is strictly off-limits for the United States Postal Service, limiting carriers to services like UPS and FedEx.
Also, don’t forget about the excise tax of $0.135 per liter on all wine shipped in the state, which you’ll also have to pay.
Wine retailers that deliver to Michigan
Some larger wine retailers, especially online entities, can deliver wine to Michigan. Here is a list of companies that will send shipments out to consumers:
- Total Wine
- Cameron Hughes
- Gloria Ferrer
- Henri’s Reserve
- Kind of Wild
- Mysa Natural Wine
- Ninety Cellars
- Organic Wine Exchange
- One Stop Wine Shop
- Reserve Bar
- Wildcrafted Wines
- Vinesse Wines
- Wine Insiders
Several of these businesses offer coupon codes and offers for new customers. The savings can definitely help to offset the price of shipping, which can be considerable for those in Michigan.
While Michigan does have some of the more relaxed wine shipping laws in the nation, the restrictions, though few, can be challenging in some situations. For example, the state does place interstate commerce limits on some small businesses,
Michigan’s alcohol shipping laws can also be frustrating to people who want to send wine as a gift to a friend. This activity is strictly prohibited if the sender does not have a DTC permit.
For those who do reside in Michigan and want to explore the wonders of wine, there are numerous options out there. If you’re not sure about how best to get wine shipped to your door, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll respond as soon as possible.
About the author
I am a North Carolina native who loves art, cooking, dogs, writing, and wine. My favorite selections are Lodi zinfandel, Mourvedre, Montipalciano, petite syrah, petite manseng, Albarino, and dry roses. A fun fact about me, I’m a lifelong Star Wars fan whose heart belongs to little Grogu. My husband and I enjoy spending our weekends exploring the state’s 185 wineries as NC continues to grow its reputation for producing world-class wines.