Wine Law

342 WINE LAW 1. SOME DATA AND RELEVANT PROFILES To date, online wine sales cover about 5-10% of total sales. In the last 5 years, in particular, wine e-commerce has grown disproportionately worldwide 5 . Some markets, such as China and the UK, are particularly favourable to this channel. Suffice it to say that every second wine consumer buys wine online at least once a month. Other countries, such as Italy, are less inclined to sell wine online, but the country’s buying habits having been changing rapidly, especially in 2019. One in three wine consumers, in Italy, buys online at least once a month, and, since 2014, the value of wine sales via e-commerce has more than tripled. However, how is the online sale carried out and what contractual rules apply? 6 The professional may decide to either sell through his own e-commerce or through third-party platforms. In the first case, the professional will decide the structure of his e-commerce, its contents, the purchase process and the general conditions of sale. He will be more protected from commodity risk (competition based on the price only), since it will be a space where he sells only his wines. Finally, this professional will have no intermediation expenses, but he will have to take build and manage the e-commerce and shipping, making his business visible on search engines through marketing strategies 7 . Conversely, if a professional decides to sell his wines through third-party platforms (online wine shops or marketplaces), he will have less responsibility, fewer costs and usually more visibility. At the same time, he will face his competitors directly and have less freedom. On the regimes of wine sales and distribution – including their online aspects –, there are many profiles of interest at a contractual level: international sales, the use of e-commerce, intra-European sales, the types of contracts allowed, the peculiarities of individual countries, the formation of contracts, the use of platforms for the conclusion of sales contracts and tax regimes 8 . This article will 5 Source: eMarketer. 6 With regard to online sale of wine within Europe, see S. D., Organizing wine distribution between offline and online sales , in O. M. C ALLIANO (edited by) E-Wine. Aspetti gius-economici della ocmunicazione e distribuzione del vino online , Torino, 2018. 7 In relation to this profile, see some important considerations of a general nature of B. M C G RECHAN , Wine Marketing Online, Wine Appreciation Guild , San Francisco, 2013. 8 On this aspect, see R. B UDDE , On line sale with European consumers. Legal requirements and information obligations , in O. M. C ALLIANO (edited by) E-Wine. Aspetti gius-economici della ocmunicazione e distribuzione del vino online , Torino, 2018. In general, with regard to the impact of e-commerce on tax obligations, see L. DEL F EDERICO , Internet, contratti informatici e commercio elettronico nel sistema tributario: problemi e linee evolutive, in G. F INOCCHIARO , F. D ELFINI (eds.), Diritto dell’informatica , Torino, 2014, pp. 1013 et seq .