New bill would put wine in Tenn. grocery stores this summer

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Could Tennessee get wine in grocery stores sooner than expected? A bill filed Monday in the state legislature wants it to happen this summer.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with liquor store owners and residents in the Knoxville area about the bill.

Owner of Farragut Wine and Spirits David Purvis says the bill goes back on the compromise that was made in the state legislature.

Others said they’re ready to see wine in their grocery stores this summer.

Jordan Clark shopping for wine at Farragut Wine and Spirits.

WATE 6 On Your Side also spoke with 24-year-old Jordan Clark who was picking up a bottle of wine for his wife at Farragut Wine and Spirits.

“I don’t see it hurting anything. What’s the consequence, a year earlier? What’s the downside?,” said Clark.

State Representative Bo Mitchell filed the bill Monday.

He told WATE 6 On Your Side that voters, like Clark, are the reason why he’s proposing it to the state legislature.

If the bill passes, wine could be on grocery store shelves as early as July.

wine2Purvis said the idea doesn’t sit too well with him. He believes lawmakers won’t go for the proposal either.

“I’m not losing any sleep over it because I don’t think it’ll happen realistically,” said Purvis. “You got to look at your odds. I’m not going to lose sleep over that because I don’t think it will but if it did, then we’ll have to cross that bridge.”

He has already started preparing for when wine does go on sale in grocery stores. He’s nearly doubled the size of his store to house more products others won’t have on their shelves.

As for Clark, he said it will come down to location for his future wine purchases.

“I think we’re all creatures of habit and we’re going to go to the closest place, so if it’s a liquor store or a grocery store,” said Clark.

WATE 6 On Your Side also reached out to the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association who had many members involved in the Red, White, and Food campaign. President and CEO Rob Ikard said they’re in no rush and are fine with waiting until 2016.

Mitchell plans to introduce the bill shortly after the legislative session begins next Tuesday.

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