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Tenn. bill would let local cities and counties decide on wine in markets

Staff Report • Jan 31, 2013 at 2:02 PM

NASHVILLE — A proposal to allow supermarkets and convenience stores to stock wine would continue to limit sales of high-alcohol beer and fortified wines to liquor stores.

State Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and fellow Republican Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol on Thursday introduced their bill to end the exclusive right of liquor stores to sell wine in Tennessee. Grocery store sales would be limited to wine with an alcohol content of no more than 18 percent.

The measure would put the option of whether to allow wider wine sales to voters in local cities and counties. The Republican House and Senate speakers support the change.

Opponents argue the change would unfairly disrupt the existing liquor stores business, and that the measure would make higher-alcohol drinks more widely available to minors.


From NET News Service:

State Rep. Jon Lundberg announced today he is filing legislation to allow localities to hold referendums on whether wine should be sold in Tennessee grocery and convenience stores.

"It will be a referendum bill. Typically, liquor bills have been handled at the local level and that’s what this bill is designed to do," Lundberg, R-Bristol, said of his legislation.

Past legislative attempts to expand wine sales beyond liquor stores have failed in Tennessee. Virginia, however, allows wine to be sold in grocery stores.

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