Sunday, March 08, 2009

A little vino would be keen-o (I want some wine ... in my grocery store!)

Ever wondered why you can't buy wine in a grocery store in Tennessee? Well, it's 'cause the liquor lobby has a great many Tennessee legislators' short hairs in a very tight ringer. That's a blunt statement, I know, but it's also the absolute truth.

Tennessee's legislative Booze Brigade has two beefs with wine sales in grocery store: They say it'll lead to increased drunkenness, and they say that a great many mom-and-pop liquor stores will be run out of business. Let's talk about both beefs ...

Shoppers at my local Food Lion - corner of Antioch Pike and Richards Road - can purchase chilled 40-ounce bottles of Colt .45 malt liquor . As we all know, the only reason folks drink malt liquor is to get tipsy, and the only reason folks drink 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor is to get very tipsy. That said, I cannot understand why it's okay for Tennessee grocery stores to sell malt liquor, and beer by the case, but not bottles of quality red and white wines. Perhaps one of the state legislators who've gone on record to state that they're agin' wine sales in grocery stores for "moral" reasons can explain it to me. (And maybe they'll also explain why they've not sponsored legislation to ban all alcohol sales in grocery stores.)

As for the Booze Brigade's second beef, lemme say this:

I cook, a lot. I also cook with wine and drink wine with my meals, a lot. It is a colossal pain in the ass to buy groceries and then drive a mile, two miles, or more to get a bottle of wine. Many's the time that I've been planning a meal whilst shopping in a Nashville supermarket whilst thinking, "If I were in Florida, I could buy my wine RIGHT HERE!" Now, I've spent a lot of time in the state of Florida (I often vacation in Ormond Beach), and I can tell you that the Sunshine State's towns, villes, and cities ain't lacking in liquor stores. So long as there're folks in Tennessee who want to buy fifths of whiskey and vodka -- and there are lots o' folks in this state who often buy fifths of whiskey and vodka -- Tennessee's liquor stores ain't got nothing to fear from the middle-aged couple who'd like a deli-baked chicken and a Chenin Blanc.

So there.

If you're like me and you want to see Tennessee's laws changed so that grocery stores can sell wine, I urge you to voice your opinion at Red, White and Food.


Mister Jimmy said...

I want all stores closed on Sundays, all stores all the time on Sundays! No booze, no food, no gasoline, no pills and no nothing. Can't we all have a day without buying and selling anything? CLOSE 'EM ALL DOWN! A LITTLE PEACE AND QUIET. I can buy my whisky on Saturday.

Chris said...

On 'The Simpsons,' didn't Homer once make a joke about trying to make malt liquor in the bathtub? Or am I losing it?