To choose or not to choose

From the beginning, we have said this issue is about consumer choice.

In this morning’s Tennessean, columnists Gail Kerr and Larry Daughtrey explored the issue from different perspectives.

Kerr focused on consumers and their desire for change.

But what will put wine on the shelves at Kroger and Publix is simply this: It’s an issue that’s remarkably simple to understand. Consumers want convenience and choices.

Consumers vote. This is an election year. In Tennessee, it’s time.

Daughtrey let us in on what the liquor lobby is telling legislators and why wine sales in retail food stores is very much an uphill fight.

Why not in grocery stores? Well, the whiskey men whispering in legislators’ ears last week will give you a reason for all seasons.

Do you really want alcohol more readily available in your community, they ask known churchgoers. This is where the preachers will weigh in, too.

Teenagers will descend on the wine aisle of the grocery store, they claim, ignoring the fact that teenagers generally go for the cold beer that’s already available.

It’s a big plot by evil Wal-Mart, they say, to drive Mom and Pop Liquors out of business.

The news media, they insist, is interested in wine in grocery stores only because of new advertising revenue.

And, finally, they argue, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The liquor lobby has their idea of what is best. Red White and Food has our ideas of what is best. The consumer (a.k.a. voter) holds the tiebreaker. Contact your state legislators and let them know you support this wine in retail food stores.

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3 Responses to “To choose or not to choose”

  1. James A. Ramsey, M.D. Says:

    I’ve lived in Nashville for 39 years and have watched the town go from fighting liquor by the drink to beer in grocery stores to Sunday sales in grocery stores. It has been a slow transition into the modern world where the individual liberty of choosing one’s own adult beverage and manner of buying it has finally come down to this really modern idea of wine in grocery stores. Eight of the surrounding states have had wine in grocery stores for years and for some strange reason these states have not gone straight to hell as the liquor lobbyists would have you believe. The main impetus to the opposition to this move is the liquor distributors who have this state so locked up that you can not even find products if they do not want to carry them. I would hate to think of the money that is changing hands at the present time to keep the status quo. Now that I am older and wiser, I hate to say it, but I do not believe a grassroots movement for wine in grocery stores will work. I truly believe that legislators are only motivated by one thing and that is greed. If you can find a way to financially motivate that bunch on Capitol Hill, you’ll find a way to get the people what they want and what is best for the state overall, but as long as the “Golden Goose” is your opponent, don’t count on it.

  2. Southern Beale Says:

    I do not believe a grassroots movement for wine in grocery stores will work. I truly believe that legislators are only motivated by one thing and that is greed.

    How terribly cynical! I hope you are wrong. Grassroots campaigns are the ONLY thing that have ever worked, from big changes like civil rights to smaller things like this. And I hardly think the TN Grocers & Convenience Store Assn. is an underdog, the retailers have their own lobby and they’re hardly devoid of cash.

    Progress marches on, whether people like it or not.

  3. Tom Says:

    I think the legislature and liquor lobby are testing the waters.
    I don’t think this bill will make it to the floor this year.
    This is an election yar; they have too much to loose.

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