Personally I believe this is a selfish case of business owners and government trying to protect their own interests, 3 tier systems, middlemen, old guard and siting unproved "greater good" arguments. Of course the liquor stores and owners of them who are on the government boards don't want wine distributed in grocery stores, but it IS more convenient for the customer. And really, wine in grocery stores rather than liquor stores will cause alcoholism? Please run that research and get back to us.
Also note that Costco across state borders charges more for wine than in-state liquor stores, and the allowance of wine in grocery stores would also lead to better prices for consumers in-state.
Wine-in-grocery-stores debate: claims vs. facts
To hear one side tell it, if the state's grocery stores sell wine, Tennessee will see more alcoholics, more underage drinking and the collapse of countless small liquor stores.The other camp predicts an economic shot in the arm, stoking wine sales to new highs and making Tennessee the purchasing destination for wine lovers who live near state borders.State lawmakers are debating yet again legislation that would allow food sellers to also sell wine.
• Sales of wine in grocery stores will lead to more alcoholism.
Last week, Vanderbilt University psychiatry professor Peter Martin testified to senators that allowing grocery and convenience stores to sell wine would ultimately increase the rate of alcoholism in the state.
• Convenience and grocery stores aren't as diligent in checking identification, so selling wine there will increase underage drinking.
In recent months, Madison County Sheriff David Woolfork has been outspoken against bringing wine sales to food stores. Woolfork said his officers have seen firsthand the impact alcohol can have on underage drinkers. He believes the measure would worsen the problem.
• If shoppers are allowed to buy wine at the same time as their food, then wine and spirits stores will lose money and be forced to close.
"If people buy more wine, that purchase comes out of their discretionary income," he said. "If I choose to buy a bottle of wine, then I will choose to not buy something else. I won't buy a movie ticket. I won't go out to dinner."
• Tennessee is losing tax revenue from shoppers who live near the border with states that allow grocery stores to sell wine.
If shoppers don't live far from wine-selling groceries across state borders, they will drive a little farther and spend their money out of state, the grocery lobby contends.
A check Friday showed that at that Costco store across the Georgia line, a bottle of St. Francis cabernet sauvignon was $14.99 plus 7 percent sales tax. The same bottle at Riverside Wine, Spirits and Beverages in Chattanooga was $19.99 plus 9.25 percent tax. An Erath pinot noir cost $14.99 at the big-box store, $19.99 at the wine store.