Push to sell wine in CT grocery stores continues

Push to sell wine in grocery stores continues
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:24 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WFSB) - The battle is on once again to allow grocery stores to sell wine.

Thursday, lawmakers voted to draft a bill for a public hearing.

Many would like to be able to buy wine in a grocery store, and grocery stores have been pushing hard for this.

This proposal wouldn’t allow all wine to be sold, just wine from Connecticut and from other small wineries.

“Absolutely you should be able to sell it in any store. Why not right?” said Michael John of Rocky Hill.

Once again Connecticut lawmakers are talking about allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores.

More than 40 states allow this. A hearing was held today and both sides weighed in.

“We all appreciate the various concerns about it. Particularly from our package store communities and the impact the bill would have on small businesses,” said Rep. Mike D’Agostino.

“I am sympathetic to all these small business owners because they opened up their businesses under one set of rules and we are trying to pull the rug out from underneath them,” said Rep. Dave Rutgliano.

Package stores, about 1,200 of them, have been fighting this.

The owner of CT Beverage Mart said they took a hit when lawmakers allowed Sunday sales.

“Wine is our biggest money maker and if we give any of it away, there will be a lot of trouble in the package store business,” said Stephen Downes, owner of CT Beverage Mart.

Grocery stores want this and are putting fliers in grocery bags.

But this proposal doesn’t include all wine, just wine from Connecticut and other small wineries, 50,000 gallons a year or less.

“California has all these small wineries nobody would check it,” said Downes.

“I think it will even out, evenly distribute and the grocery stores and liquor stores,” said Mark Moot of Rocky Hill.

Thursday was just the first hurdle, but package stores worry that if something like this goes through, this will eventually open the door to all wine.

The Connecticut Food Association represents grocery. They’ll be releasing a new poll on how people feel about this.