The movement to get wine sold in grocery stores here in Minnesota has been tabled for another year in the State Legislature. The “Wine with Dinner” bill, sponsored by Minnesota Grocers, didn’t make it out of committee. The sponsors vow to not give up and point to overwhelming support with voters, but I don’t hold much hope for wine sales in supermarkets here anytime soon.
Without getting too far into the liquor laws of my current home state, most of the issue boils down to the powerful interests of the three tier system. To complicate matters further, many cities have monopolized wine distribution so there is no competition in the city I live in. Therefore, I buy most of my wine in Minneapolis or St. Paul where wine stores are allowed and the variety is much better than municipal stores. All this adds up to higher wine prices for Minnesota consumers.
So as logical and popular it might be to make wine available in grocery stores, I really don’t think it will happen here due to the political interests. Too bad for wineries and consumers, the groups who’s interests are not being served in this case. It also provides an interesting opportunity for Wine 2.0 sites to sell directly to Minnesota consumers since we are used to paying 10% or more than most States for vino.
I still wish the Wine with Dinner folks well and encourage fellow Minnesotans to voice their opinion on the issue with their State Representative, etc. There’s always next term…