The time has come

Today, we officially launched Red White and Food in hopes of giving consumers the choice and convenience of buying wine in retail food stores (grocery and convenience stores).

Doing so means that we have to change a long-standing state law that limits wine sales to liquor stores. Thirty-three states allow retail food stores to sell wine, including five of the eight states bordering Tennessee. Tennessee retail food stores can sell beer. The big question: Why not wine?

This blog will be a place to explore that question in greater detail. Tennessee’s liquor laws are unique, while the issues surrounding any change in the law are complex. The good part is there no shortage of material or opinions on the issue.

The process has been straightforward to now. Sen. Bill Ketron (R – Murfreesboro) and Rep. Randy Rinks (D – Savannah) have sponsored legislation that would allow the change. In essence, the goal is create a new alcohol license that allows retail food stores that are in municipalities allowing package sales to sell wine. This legislation does not open the door for every retail food store to sell wine as some opponents have claimed.

The legislation also does not change Tennessee’s three tier system for wine distribution. We’ll get into the more in a future post.

Our opponents are going to make two arguments: 1) It will increase access for minors and 2) it will hurt liquor stores. There is no statistical evidence to support the first argument. Ironically for them, there is evidence that wine sales in retail food stores helps the liquor store industry.

Thanks to everyone ready to engage in this important debate. We believe the time is now for Tennessee to become the next state allowing wine sales in retail food stores.

Learn more at


13 Responses to “The time has come”

  1. Volunteer Voters » The Winers Are Coming Says:

    […] new blog dedicated to getting wine sold in your grocery store has begun to explain itself: This blog will be a place to explore that question in greater detail. Tennessee’s liquor laws […]

  2. Southern Beale Says:


    We want wine! We want wine!!

    Seriously, this stupid law preventing wine sales at grocery stores serves no one but the distributors. Time for them to step aside.

  3. DD Says:

    Yay again!

    If this passes, just think: terrific food/spirit stores like Liquor Barn and Trader Joe’s might consider moving into this state. It’s about time!

  4. Emelia Says:

    Thank goodness someone has finally had the guts to try and change this arcane law the RIGHT way. I have been sending e-mails to politicians for years. The only real resource I could ever find was Now if only we could change the direct shipping laws so I could actually get the wonderful wines from the vineyards I visited in Sonoma.

  5. Holiday Grinch Says:


  6. Eric Says:

    We’re here to fight for wine!

  7. Marti Says:

    It would nice to be able to ship home wines for my collection, when I go visiting in wine producing areas around the world.

  8. Robert Poor Says:

    More than 25 years ago I visited New Orleans and was able to buy Wine in the Grocery Store. I thought it was the coolest thing. I still hold out hope I may one day do that here!!

  9. Tom Akers Says:

    Let’s see…..I vacation in Florida and buy my wine at the grocery there. I visit friends in Georgia and buy my wine at the grocery there also. I visit family in Texas and buy my wine in the Texas grocery stores.
    I come home to my beloved birthplace, Tennessee, and guess what?

    Let’s drag our state into the 21st century, please!

  10. Mendy Richards Says:

    This is indeed an idea whose time has not only come, but is long overdue. Kudos to those who are pushing this legislation. Now, will SOMEBODY do something to help us poor blighters who still live in the 19th Century Counties WITH NO LEGAL LIQUOR?????

  11. Dennis Carroll Says:

    This is also an energy consumption issue.
    With the price of gasoline and the subsequent emissions
    involved with the extra driving.
    Let’s bring this into the debate!

  12. Ralph Foley Says:

    We moved here 15 years ago after living 18 years in Texas where we had the choice of purchasing wine at the grocery store. It was quite a shock to discover we had to go to a liquor store to purchase wine after we moved to Tennessee. Wine has been an accompaniment to food for centuries so this law makes no sense except to protect one industry group and restrain trade. It is time for Tennessee to join the 21st century or at least come up to the 20th century.

  13. Gary Says:

    We go regularly to North Carolina, and can get a wine in Wal-Marts and grocery stores while we hang there. The liquor stores ( ABC) still sell wines, but now their prices are more competitive. The competition is good, because selections and choices have increased as costs have decreased. People are happy under the fair blue Carolina sky.

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