Where To Buy Wine In New York

Where To Buy Wine In New York – The debate over whether New York should allow wine sales in grocery stores has heated up for the first time in more than a decade. (file photo)

40 states allow wine to be sold with food and other items in grocery stores. New York is not one of them. Some state lawmakers want to change that.

Where To Buy Wine In New York

Where To Buy Wine In New York

Efforts to allow wine sales in grocery stores continue to heat up as the state Legislature nears the end of its 2023 session. This is the first major step towards such a change since a failed attempt in 2010. State prohibition of wine (and alcoholic beverages) Vegetables began to be banned until the end.

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This issue pits the government’s business interests against each other. Stores support it, hoping to add new product lines to their shelves. Wine and liquor store owners are protesting, fearing a loss of business that could force many to close.

The state’s wineries seem to be divided on the issue. Large distributors of wine and spirits are against it.

“It’s time again,” said Bradley Rickard, a professor of food economics at Cornell University whose paper detailing the pros and cons of the idea has been cited by both sides in previous debates. “Parties align.”

The plan comes in a bill sponsored by state Rep. Pam Hunter, D-, and Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan. They say consumer choice and convenience are primary goals.

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“Although many laws have been updated to reflect modern times, consumers still stop at various stores for groceries and wine,” the bill’s “justification” statement said. “This anachronistic approach does not provide consumer protection, but protects an entrenched monopoly at the expense of easy access for consumers.” If consumers can trust supermarkets to buy beer, they should be able to buy their wine and groceries. as.

Sponsors cited a recent Siena College poll that found 76% of New Yorkers support selling wine in grocery stores.

As in previous versions, this bill does not allow the sale of hard liquor (whiskey, gin, vodka, etc.) in grocery stores. (Some, but not all, states that allow businesses to sell wine also allow liquor.)

Where To Buy Wine In New York

This new bill makes major changes to the provisions proposed in 2009 and 2010. He tries to keep wine out of big box stores (like Target or most Walmarts) by limiting it to stores where at least 65% of sales come from food. . He tries to keep wine out of small shops, bodegas, gas stations and the like, limiting it to places with at least 5,000 square feet.

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This could mean the most likely places to benefit from the changes are large grocery chains such as Wegmans, Tops and Price Chopper and local independent stores such as Green Hills in the Valley and Nichols in Liverpool. The bill would create up to 1,900 new full-service food wine licenses.

Grocers have not endorsed it, although some Wegmans customers recently received an email linking to an online form called nytimeforwin.com where customers can ask lawmakers for support.

“Tell your state legislators that you want them to allow New Yorkers to buy wine at grocery stores,” the email said. “…with more than three-quarters of New Yorkers supporting wine sales in grocery stores, this change will not only be convenient for consumers, but will also benefit winemakers throughout New York State who will have more than just a place to sell their products locally. manufactured goods.”

Wegmans officials had no comment for this story. In addition to the popular supermarket chain, several Wegman family members and partners own liquor stores in the state, often near the company’s supermarkets.

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Opponents of the bill say it would make wine more expensive in supermarkets: As many as half of the state’s current 3,800 independently owned wine and liquor stores could go out of business, they say, because they would lose sales to retailers. .

“It will destroy small, independent stores in favor of big business,” said Neil Pascale, owner of Pascale’s Liquors in Liverpool and a board member of the New York State Liquor Store Association. “I think more than half will go out of business.”

New York’s current law also prohibits wine and liquor store owners from holding more than one license (which also prevents chains from operating liquor stores). But the new proposal would allow chain stores like Wegman’s and Tops to obtain wine licenses.

Where To Buy Wine In New York

The new bill does not add “business” to existing liquor stores, which were included in the 2010 version. It would allow liquor stores to sell certain food items, mixers, glassware and other items that are prohibited from being carried and give license holders more control. One from a liquor store that is now illegal.

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According to Pascal, the absence of any of these recommendations is troubling. He also noted that most states that began allowing wine in grocery stores did so decades ago.

“Forty or fifty years ago, when these states did it, it was different,” Pascale said. “Now we’re going to see real results for many small businesses operating today.”

“From a small business perspective, this move is nothing short of catastrophic,” said a release from Bulldog Strategies, a public relations and lobbying firm led by Rich Azzopardi, a former top aide to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “If that were to happen, small liquor stores would never be able to compete on a tilted playing field as big business dominates the liquor market.”

The publication also warns that expanding wine sales beyond small liquor stores could increase the risk of sales to low-end buyers.

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Bulldog Strategies, according to the release, represents spirits/wine distributors Empire Merchants, Empire Merchants North and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits; New York State Beer Wholesalers; and retail groups Metropolitan Package Store Association, New York State Liquor Store Association and Retailers Alliance of New York.

The new bill also provides incentives for stores to promote New York State wines by reducing license renewal fees for stores based on in-state sales.

The impact of grocery store wine on the state’s nearly 500 wineries has been a divisive topic in previous editions.

Where To Buy Wine In New York

While many wineries supported the move, believing it would increase sales opportunities, others said it could hurt some winemakers and their distributors’ existing relationships with liquor stores.

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But many New York wineries make most of their sales through tasting rooms, or through direct delivery, without distribution to stores.

Carol Doolittle, co-owner of Frontenac Point Winery on Cayuga Lake, said her business is following the trend, so she doesn’t have a real stock at liquor stores or grocery stores.

Still, he supports the bill to allow wine in supermarkets because he believes it will increase consumer awareness of wine in general.

“In a grocery store environment, most people will see and appreciate wine,” he said. “If more people are enjoying their wine with food, then they’re more likely to graduate to liquor stores for a better selection and then hopefully to the wineries themselves.”

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Rickard, the Cornell economics professor, said that while there are some difficult issues to consider, “it’s almost always better policy to leave the rules open to a freer market.”

“It will be good for the consumer,” he said of allowing wine in grocery stores. “I think prices will come down and consumers will appreciate the convenience of one-stop shopping.”

But he said the impact on liquor stores could be “a big challenge for a small group and that’s what makes it difficult.”

Where To Buy Wine In New York

Ultimately, he said, “I think the overall benefits probably outweigh the costs of the liquor stores.”

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Don Cassantry writes for NYup.com and The Post-Standard. Contact him at dcazentre@nyup.com, or follow him on NYup.com, Twitter or Facebook.

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If there’s one thing we all need right now, it’s wine, so visit the city’s great wine shops and bring a bottle home. Whether you’re looking for a Netflix-type of night out or a low-key dinner with your pod, staying in doesn’t mean you have to settle. Enlighten your mind and palate by discovering new natural or organic wines selected by these experts.

The Bushwick Ops restaurant is known for its local wines, as well as its famous, very popular pizza

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