Hey, liquor stores, get over yourselves

The following statement is taken verbatim from the comments to a WATE-TV (Knoxville) story about Monday’s Senate Local Government subcommittee meeting. A Red, White & Food opponent obviously wrote it.

“Grocery stores are not qualified to sell wine — except to cheap alcoholics. Wine stores can offer suggestions on what wine to serve with particular foods and give other advice grocery stores cannot.”

The author presumes that offering advice is a “qualification” for selling wine. The liquor store industry has used this argument again and again.

Get over yourselves, liquor stores. A Beaulieu Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is going to taste the same whether you recommended it or we bought it ourselves at a retail food store.

The liquor store industry is essentially telling consumers they are not smart enough to make their own wine purchases without the advice of some wine sage who works in a liquor store. Hey, if you can insult wine consumers any more, we’ll buy you a nice bottle of Cab…that you recommend.

BTW, you’re arguing against yourself. If advice is so integral to the wine purchase, then liquor store should not have to worry about competition from retail food stores.

Retail food stores have never said they will mimic liquor stores with a vast selection and a self-appointed sommelier waiting to dish profundities about wine.

However, we do know that consumers want more choices of where they can buy wine and they want the choice of buying wine where they buy food. We choose to trust their judgement — not question it.

Read the results of WATE-TV’s unscientific poll about the issue.

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4 Responses to “Hey, liquor stores, get over yourselves”

  1. Marc Says:

    I live in Spring Hill where there is a total of four wine stores to choose from. Three of these four are absolutely incompetent about wine and their inventory reflects as such. The fourth, while the staff is knowledgeable about wine, leaves much to be desired with the selection they offer.

    In an effort to expand my palate, I regularly ask this staff for recommendations for something new and different, but their selection is limited to what they can sell the most of in our small market. I want to support our LOCAL stores, but not being able to buy a Bordeaux in town is driving me crazy!

    I feel like I’m a fairly competent wine drinker and while I appreciate recommendations I would far more appreciate having access to a larger selection that I feel a grocery store (with a competent/knowledgeable buyer) could provide. At the very least, it would double the number of our local sellers from four to eight and hopefully the selection as well.

    I truly appreciate all you are doing in your efforts to expand our options as consumers. Keep up the great work!

  2. redwhiteandfood Says:

    Thanks for your support.

    Retail food stores will either have someone on staff or find someone to recommend wines that fit their customer profile. After all, they are in the business of stocking what their customers want. It’s all about consumers like yourself.

  3. Tonto Says:

    So Tennessee liquor wholesalers have held restaurant and nightclub owners by the balls for years as they have monopoly over liquor distribution. Is the grocers’ association proposing legislation that would change this practice?

    Do they realize that liquor distributors use the ABC agents to harass businesses that are vocal on the state’s liquor laws?

  4. winechick Says:

    I just want to respond to Tonto by correcting the comment:

    “Do they realize that liquor distributors use the ABC agents to harass businesses that are vocal on the state’s liquor laws?”

    Liquor Distributors are not affiliated directly with ABC agents. In fact, the ABC is there to, how do I say, “harass” the distributor network as well. They are a regulatory faction of the government that oversees distributors and retailers alike.

    I hope that is now more clear.

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