With the TTB closed, no new wine labels (or bottles) can be approved.

By Bridget Hallinan
January 25, 2019

First craft beer, now rosé. As we enter the 33rd day of the government shutdown, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) remains shuttered, and label approval is at a standstill. In other words? New wine and beer releases are on hold until the government reopens—and that could include your favorite pink wine, according to Wine Spectator.

“TTB will suspend all non-excepted TTB operations, and no personnel will be available to respond to any inquiries, including emails, telephone calls, facsimiles, or other communications,” the site states, as previously reported by Food & Wine. “Submissions will not be reviewed or approved until appropriations are enacted.”

Now, before you grab your pitchforks, note that “new” is the keyword here. You’ll still be able to buy all of your staple bottles, since they’ve already gone through TTB’s COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) process, which can take about 11 days for beer labels and up to 36 for wine labels. Under normal circumstances, that would be plenty of time for, say, new bottles of rosé to be approved by peak rosé season (aka summer). However, labels that haven’t been approved yet—whether they’re for a new release, or an updated product—can’t be bottled and shipped out while TTB is closed, resulting in possible months of delays and lost money for wineries and breweries.

"We have 20 to 30 [labels] at the TTB that haven't been approved yet," Gavin Speight, vice president of Old Bridge Cellars, an international wine importer, told Wine Spectator. "It's going to put us back a month or so on shipping."

Wine Spectator reports that “wine, beer and spirits groups“ are currently meeting with Congress to voice their concerns. But in the meantime, we’d suggest stocking your cellar up with all of your favorites—it might be a little while before you get to try a new one.

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