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Tennessee Grocers Launch Campaign for Retail Wine Sales

The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association here yesterday launched "Red White and Food," a grassroots campaign to educate Tennesseans about wine sales in retail food stores. The Nashville-based trade group also proposed legislation creating a new license for the sale of wine in these stores.

"Red White and Food is a campaign about choosing wine sales in Tennessee retail food stores," TGCSA president Jarron Springer said in a statement. "Consumers benefit from convenience and competition that keeps prices down. Retailers benefit by responding to a customer demand and increasing their own competitiveness in a highly competitive market."

Thirty-three other states currently allow wine sales in retail food stores, including five of the eight states that border Tennessee.

Other supporters of the campaign include the Tennessee Farm Wineries, Tennessee Retail Association, and The Wine Institute.

Sen. Bill Ketron and Rep. Randy Rinks introduced a bill (SB3139/HB3451) at the beginning of the legislative session that would allow wine sales only in municipalities that currently allow package sales. They will introduce an amendment defining a new license that allows retail food stores to sell wine, according to The Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association.

"We are only pursuing this option where wine sales are legal today," said Springer. "This legislation does not allow every retail food store in the state to sell wine."

The proposed legislation also does not change the current three-tier system for wine distribution in Tennessee.
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