Liquor Retailers Oppose Wine Sales In Grocery Stores

Hear, read and see our past coverage of Kentucky alcohol laws here and here.

Some local liquor store owners are opposing a renewed effort to expand wine sales into certain Kentucky grocery stores. Legislation to that effect died in the General Assembly this year. Now, a group called the Food with Wine Coalition wants to try again.

“Wine has become an accepted part of a health, balanced diet,” says Coalition consultant Luke Schmidt. “Lifestyles are changing and food store operators decided perhaps now is the time to take a look at the law which hasn’t really been changed since prohibition.”

In Louisville, Old Town Wine and Spirits owner Gordon Jackson says he thinks money might also be a motivating factor.

“They’re businesspeople and they’re trying to grow their business and they’re support for the Kentucky wine thing may be a little bit of a smokescreen,” he says.

The Liquor Barn chain has stopped buying some Kentucky-made wines in an effort to fight the coalition. Jackson’s store doesn’t sell locally-produced wine. Kentucky is among 16 states that don’t allow wine to be sold in food stores.