Wine Tariffs to Be Replaced by Wine Glass Tariffs?!

First they came for our imported wines and sparkling wines. With a herculean effort and a bit of luck we finally seem to have averted an ongoing disaster.

But now they’re coming for our Zaltos, dammit!

Unless you were living under a rock, or don’t give a fig about wine, you will have heard that the horrific 25% tariffs on imported wines have been suspended for 4 months while the Biden Administration works out a permanent solution for the trade war over large aircraft subsidies.

But there is another trade dispute in progress that also threatened to impact the wine world this past year, through proposed taxes on sparkling wines. This other kerfuffle resulted from a Digital Services Tax imposed by France on the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Ultimately, the Trump administration opted to not include wine in the list of retaliatory tariffs.

But France wasn’t the only country that adopted a Digital Services Tax. And now Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the U.K. are under fire from the U.S. Trade Representative for their imposition of such taxes.

This time, thankfully, wine isn’t on the list of items to be taxed, but wine glasses are. Specifically, every expensive ($5 wholesale cost or more) wine glass made in Austria. That means Riedel, Zalto, MarkThomas, Gabriel-Glas, Sophienwald, and more would all get 25% more expensive if the proposed trade action goes into effect.

I’ll bet Jancis Robinson is pretty happy right now that her high-end glass is made in Slovenia.

These tariffs would go into effect on June 2nd if the parties don’t come to an agreement, so there’s still time to buy some very expensive glassware before it gets incredibly expensive.