Skip to comments.Let people vote on wine in food stores
Posted on 02/26/2012 10:42:27 AM PST by SmithL
There are some who might wonder why the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association continues to push on with its effort to change state law to allow wine to be sold in retail food stores against what seem to be stacked odds. The answer is simple it's something that a great number of our customers want, and our industry is based on taking care of our customers.
Is there money to be made by retail food stores selling wine? Of course there is. What's driving our efforts, however, is the increasing number of customers who are frustrated that they do not have the same opportunity for convenience and choice that shoppers in 35 other states have. They simply would like to pick up a bottle of wine while they shop for other items.
Those who are opposed to our efforts, which include liquor store owners, wine and spirits wholesalers, and people who are opposed to any sales of alcohol, will throw out a lot of smokescreens about why they are opposed to a change in the law. But let's not kid ourselves the liquor industry is concerned first and foremost about maintaining its monopoly on the distribution and sale of wine.
The association fully realizes the challenge of getting state law changed. We are not, however, backing down from the challenge.
We still have a bill alive in the Legislature (SB 318/HB 560) that would allow local referendums on the issue in cities and counties that currently allow sales of wine in package liquor stores, including Knoxville. It's hard to understand why any legislator would be opposed to allowing local residents a chance to decide the issue themselves. Or maybe not.
Liquor store owners and wholesalers have maintained their monopoly on wine sales ...
(Excerpt) Read more at knoxnews.com ...
Tennessee Liquor Wholesalers own the Legislature. We pay a lot more for wine and liquor than people in other states. The Legislature, in appreciation for the very generous donations from the Liquor Wholesalers, keeps competition from interfering with the wholesalers’ stranglehold on wine and liquor sales.
Yeah, no foolin’.
My county here in middle Georgia finally removed the last blue law about selling alcohol on Sundays. Frankly as a Catholic, I was glad to see the stranglehold that Southern Baptists had on the government here lose their stranglehold. There was no reason to limit that other than religious ones no matter what they claimed about public safety.
I believe in separation of church and state in ALL ways not just ones that benefit us.
Being from NY (and Catholic), the south had its shocks...
Someone asked me to go out on a date....to a Baptist Meet. It was REALLY hard to keep a straight face.
Megadittoes for us Pennsylvanians with our State-controlled Liquor Control Board’s boot on our throats.
“The Legislature, in appreciation for the very generous donations from the Liquor Wholesalers, keeps competition from interfering with the wholesalers stranglehold on wine and liquor sales.”
Right, you are. As one of the state newspapers put it, ‘Tom “the Golden Goose” Hensley, has represented the liquor wholesalers since 1967 and has earned his keep by keeping wine out of Tennessee’s grocery stores.’
Well at least us reprobates up here in NY State can now buy liquor on Sundays, noon to 9pm. Oh thank you most gracious State for your benevolence. However we can not buy wine in grocery stores and liquor stores can not sell mixers, snacks etc. This is called separation of liquor and food! I am not sure what religion taught that but the almighty state must know best and we must trust them. At least that is what Danica Patrick said so I guess it must be true.
Growing up in Eastern Nebraska, we still had dry townships.
You knew you were in one when everyone had a full bar in their basement. I honestly didn’t know that was odd until I was in my teens!
Sigh. Like everything else, follow the money. The Tenn Wine & Spirits Retails Association (lobby) has deep pockets. I cannot believe we’re still fighting for wine in grocery stores in the year 2012!! By all means, Tennesseans, write your representatives and tell them WE want to vote on this issue. They obviously can’t be trusted to represent the voters when the liquor store $lobbyists$ has insured this is a dead issue.
A move to go to private ownership began 2 years ago. The first referendum went down because the state basically scared people into thinking minors would all be drunk and driving on our roads.
Last November, a similar bill was put forward and it passed. In July, we get private companies allowed to sell. Can't wait to start getting stuff from Costco or Walmart. It will save a lot of money.
Wow. The Krogers here not only sell wine, they have wine tastings. Fun drinking wine and shopping!
Our Trader Joe’s don’t even carry Two-Buck Chuck.
“I cannot believe were still fighting for wine in grocery stores in the year 2012!!”
We have the same thing in Minnesota. For a number of years, the grocery lobby has been trying to get the Legislature to allow wine sales in their stores.
Each year, the bill dies in committee - no matter whether Dems or Reps control the Legisalture..
We lived in Las Vegas for over 10 years, where grocery stores sell any and all brands of beer, wine, and licker 24/7. Then moved on the Texas, where the Baptists were in control, and we had to drive to Dallas to Industrial Avenue to buy bottled alcohol. But if you wanted to drink in a local establishment, you had to “join the club” for a small fee. It’s barbaric. Open it up to anytime sales everywhere.
Liquor for off-premises consumption can be sold in some states only in state-run stores; in other states in privately-owned stores (which stores may, or may not, also sell beer and/or wine, depending on their location); or, in some states, grocery stores.
Differing laws apply to wine or beer for off-premises consumption -- where they may be sold, and when (Sunday sales banned in some jurisdictions; Sunday sales only after 11 AM or Noon or 1 PM in others).
Laws pertaining to on-premises alcohol are even more perplexing. It is commonplace for a totally "dry" county to be adjacent to one which allows bars as well as off-premises sales. There have been counties where you can buy a bottle of bourbon from a state-run store, but not a drop of beer may legally be sold. And so on -- every imaginable permutation of what kinds of adult beverages you may buy, from whom, and under what circumstances.
I live in Union County, NC, on the southeastern fringe of the Charlotte metro area. It is legal for towns within Union County to permit the establishment of state-run liquor stores, if approved by a majority of voters in a referendum -- if, that is, the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission thinks it can sell enough liquor at the location in question to make it economically justifiable. Sales of beer and/or wine by private stores (grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations), similarly, are subject to the passing of a referendum. And ditto for the establishment of bars, within the rather tight NC laws (establishments must derive 50% or more of their revenue from food, and, significantly, must buy their liquor from state-run warehouses, not at wholesale, but at retail plus a surcharge, which theoretically goes to programs to prevent alcoholism).
Again, all of this is subject to voter referendum, on separate questions; some towns have approved beer and wine sales by groceries, but turned down state liquor stores and/or liquor licenses for restaurants. Unincorporated areas of Union County are totally dry. The effect of that has been that there are no grocery stores in the county other than in towns which have approved sales of beer and wine in grocery stores.
In an ultimate irony, Lynchburg, Tennessee is in a dry county.
I would think in the cases of truly rural counties remote from cities of any size, a majority of the voters may, indeed, believe that alcoholic beverages are the tool of the Devil.
But in suburban counties or towns that vote "dry," you may well be right. In the town of Waxhaw, NC, (in my home county, Union, NC's most rapidly growing county, transitioning from the exurbs to the suburbs of Charlotte), liquor by the drink was twice voted down in the past decade, before finally passing a couple of years ago. My take is that the measure was voted down by anti-development people, who didn't want to see more commercial development of any kind in their town.
I don't know that graft was a factor, but economics may well have been -- some probably felt (erroneously, in my opinion) that the values of their homes may have been diminished by increasing development of any kind. These people were not anti-liquor religious fundamentalists; their home bars were stocked, and they didn't mind driving a few extra miles (to southern Charlotte, for example) for a cocktail and dinner.