ROTATION OF WINES AT RETAIL PREMISES
Proprietors of Distilled Spirits Plants, Bonded Wine
Cellars, Taxpaid Bottling Houses, Importers,
Wholesale Liquor Dealers, and others concerned:
The purpose of this circular is to inform you of an ATF ruling which will
appear in an early issue of the ATF Bulletin. The ruling will permit wine
suppliers to rotate wines at retail premises under certain conditions. The
ruling will read as follows:
The Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
has been asked the conditions under which wine suppliers may
rotate bottled wines on retail dealer premises to assure
sale of the oldest stock first.
The increase in production and sale of wines, especially
low alcoholic content wines having a comparatively short
shelf life, as well as a substantial increase in the number
of retail outlets handling wines, has necessitated determining
whether, for quality control purposes, the foregoing activity
could be permitted within the scope of controlling law.
The legal requirements regarding unfair competition and
unlawful practices in sales of wines by producers or wholesalers
are set out in 27 U.S.C. 205(b). Under these requirements
it is considered, in effect, unlawful to induce retail dealers
to purchase wines to the exclusion in whole or in part of
wines sold by others (engaged in interstate or foreign commerce)
by reason of furnishing, selling, or giving service or other
things of value. There is provision, however, for exceptions
including regard for public health, the value of articles
involved, and established trade practice not contrary to
the public interest.
It has been determined that a wine supplier may rotate
his brands of wines at retail premises, under the following
conditions, without violation of 27 U.S.C. 205(b):
1. Permission must be obtained from
2. Only brands of wine sold by the
supplier may be rotated.
3. No brands of wine may be returned
to the wine supplier by the retailer other
than under the exception found in the proviso
to 27 U.S.C. 205(d), as further discussed in
Revenue Ruling 54-509, C. B. 1954-2, 561,
This ruling shall not apply in any State where State
law or regulations prohibit such practices.
Inquiries regarding this circular should refer to its number and be addressed
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
Avenue, N. W.,
Washington, D. C. 20226,
Attention: Regulatory Enforcement.