Our opponents love to say, “This change is for the convenience of a few people.” Well, this is the second independent poll showing that 62 percent of Tennesseans support the measure. That’s definitely not all Tennesseans, but it’s certainly far more than a few.
By now, most of you following this issue know that Costco decided to build a store just across the Georgia line from Chattanooga because it’s not allowed to sell wine in its Tennessee stores. So, those jobs (construction and store) and tax dollars are now headed to Georgia.
Unfortunately, this happens all across Tennessee. Five of the eight states bordering Tennessee (Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virgina) allow wine sales. Residents who live on the borders of these states often shop for groceries outside of Tennessee. One of the reasons is they can buy wine where they buy food. That’s business that Tennessee has lost.
Are the Georgia liquor stores owners crying foul about big box Costco? Not at all. This is from a previous story about the Costco choice:
Steve Gilbert is sure his wines will keep selling well, despite the news that Costco is moving in just minutes away. He says the selection and service at Dodge City Liquors in Brainerd will win out with customers. “We have service, they won’t, we have selection, they won’t. We probably have 150 different chardonnays, 100 merlots, the grocery stores aren’t going to have those.”
Our lobbying team is in frequent contacts with candidates across the state. We’re hearing that wine in food stores is a popular topic on the campaign trail and one of the first questions Tennesseans are asking candidates at public events.
If you’ve talked with candidates, let us know what they said in the comments below.
Election season is the perfect time to let all candidates — incumbents and challengers — know that Tennesseans expect action on this issue.
Thanks to our Red White and Food members and our other supporters for your passion.
Last week, the Johnson City Press asked its readers to share their opinions about selling wine in retail food stores. To date, the newspaper has published eight responses. We’ll let you decide which side came out the winner.
We’ll go on record as agreeing with them that wine and milk do not mix into a good drink. That would be awful. Just awful.
We’ll also disagree. The mixing of wine and milk in a business sense has happened successfully in many other states — 33 to be exact. And, this lethal concoction has occurred without eliminating all the liquor store jobs as our opponents claim would happen in Tennessee.
So, maybe, wine and milk do mix. Most Tennesseans think it’s a good idea to try.