Tennessee Grocery Stores Begin Selling Wine

Posted at 5:35 AM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 23:06:00-04

It's official: Tennessee grocery stores sold their first bottles of wine Friday morning.

Some stores had already begun stocking shelves, while wine enthusiasts counted down the days. By law, stores began selling wine at 8 a.m. 

Wal-Mart,  Sam's Club, Costco, Kroger, Public, Food Lion, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods are just some of the stores where Tennesseans can now purchase wine.

"Seems to be a great selection which is great for everybody in Tennessee," said shopper David Berck.

The change is nine years in the making. In 2014, the state legislature voted to allow wine sales in grocery stores in cities that allow bars and liquor stores, but communities also had to pass local referendums. 

A total of 78 Tennessee cities passed those referendums.

The new law gave liquor stores competition.

"Today is like Black Friday," said Jean Tate. "We're all excited, everybody is excited. I have no sympathy for the liquor stores. They've had the rule of it all, the prices, they're very expensive. So here now we have a variety and we have a choice of prices."

"I'll still buy from those places when there's specific things I know I want. But I go to Costco to buy food so it's very convenient and I can do it all in one place," Berck said.

Even though it's now legal to sell wine in grocery stores, those businesses must follow the same rules as liquor stores – that includes no wine sales on Sundays and no purchases of wine past 11 p.m.

Additionally, wine sales are not allowed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, New Year's Day, or this upcoming Fourth of July. 

For a list of all the new laws that took effect Friday, click here.