A toast to the rational

The 106th Tennessee General Assembly convenes today. Soon, the words will undoubtedly fly between us and our opponents.

Before that happens, however, we would like to compliment two liquor-store industry reps who can see beyond the apocalyptic rhetoric of their peers. 

Most recently, Courtney Wilder wrote a thoughtful piece about consumer frustration that liquor stores can’t sell corkscrews and other items. Among her points, she writes:

Naturally, wine in the grocery stores would hurt the business of most wine retailers, especially those who make most of their income through the sale of mass-marketed wines. Yet, even though I work in a retail store, I am for a more inclusive system if it would allow liquor stores greater freedom to conduct their business as they wish. States that have wine in grocery stores still have specialty wine stores that do quite well.

Real wine lovers will always do the vast majority of their wine shopping in a real wine store, provided the store offers an experience above and beyond the long, lonely aisle of bulk wine at the supermarket.

From a WSMV-Channel 4 story after the Nov. 17 subcommittee hearing:

The owner of Nashville Wine and Spirits believes wine sales at retail food stores is coming, but said the big supermarket chains and wine shops can coexist.

Like Republicans in Hollywood, similarly minded people in the liquor industry probably fear the repercussions of speaking out. We are thankful these two decided otherwise.

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3 Responses to “A toast to the rational”

  1. Scott Says:

    It’s interesting that the proposal to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores (that is being pushed by those who run this website) does not allow liquor stores to sell beer. Hmmmm. For those who exasperatingly complain about the fact that wine and liquor stores are “protected” from competition (which we aren’t), who exactly will be protected under the proposed change? You wanna sell what I sell? Then why can’t I sell what you sell?

    If we’re going to change a system that has worked perfectly for 60 years or so, let’s really make things fair.

  2. Not John Wilder Says:

    Scott, most grocery retailers would gladly let you sell beer. They’d also allow you to sell soft drinks, mixers, ice, cork screws and the like.

    Don’t buy the line being sold to you by the Golden Goose. Goose Hensley is looking out for himself and no one else. He cannot bear the thought of not being in power at the capitol.

    Grocers and c-store operators truly want a fair system.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s where the mega-grociers are getting tricky.

    If the liquor stores can sell ice, mixers, and “the like” – then who is going to make the definitions? According to this post, it will be the grocery retailers who will “gladly let” the liquor stores sell other products. Nice to know who is going to be deciding Tennessee laws.

    So just break out your cookbooks, gang, because the following logic should be enough to get every legislator in Tennessee to wake up and smell the coffee and Bailey’s.

    The following items are mixers:

    Milk, Coffee, Orange Juice, Clam Juice, Eggs, Sugar, Powdered Sugar, Salt, Cranberry Juice, Pomegranate Juice, Olive Juice, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Pineapple Juice, Tomato Juice, Beef Broth, Coconut Milk, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Ginger Ale, Club Soda, Tonic Water, Sugar Syrup, Bitters, Grapefruit Juice, Worcesteshire Sauce, Tobasco Sauce, Horseradish, Pepper, Half and Half, and more.

    The following items are used as garnishes:

    Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Pineapples, Apples, Grapes, Mint Leaves, Celery, Olives, Blue Cheese, Cinnamon, Pepper Flakes, Whipped Cream, Cocoa Powder, Powdered Sugar, Celery Salt, Old Bay Seasoning, Cherries, Minced Coconut, Jalpenos, Cucumbers, and of coure more.

    This is where the slippery slope begins. If liquor stores are selling food items then every grocery store could be a liquor store. That’s what the grociers meant when they rewrote the bills to allow chain liquor stores – it would make every gas station and grocery store in Tennessee into a liquor store. I’m sure the Red, White & Food lobby will say, “But that’s not what we want!” but lobbyists are paid do DO things, not to KNOW things. The big grocery chains and the families behind them don’t live in Tennessee and could not care less what happens here. They sell liquor in any state it is allowed and would gladly take the profits. This is what they want.

    And gas stations will do what makes money, period. They sell all sorts of stuff to the poor and underclass that don’t have any redeeming value at all. They would LOVE to put pints of Jim Beam right next to the cigarettes and other items they sell.

    It doesn’t take a genius to see where this sort of irresponsible behavior would lead in a few years. I don’t see how any thinking person could be in support of this.

    Are you guys going to delete this post too?

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