TABC Investigates Possible Wine Sale Violations

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 19:43:20-04

Directors with the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission said they have received several complaints since the legal sale of wine at grocery stores last week. 

Ten complaints were filed and accused several grocery stores of selling wine lower than the 20% required markup.

The law requires stores to post a 20% markup from the wholesale price of wine to prevent undercutting. 

However, the complaints alleges stores have violated the law for at least two days since Friday. Grocery stores must follow the same rules as liquor stores and are not allowed to sell past 11 p.m. and on Sundays and holidays.

Liquor store owners such as Ed Fryer of Village Wines in Hillsboro Village feel it may be a misunderstanding.

"I think it's just a mistake in calculations," Fryer said. "There may have been a lot of uncertainty of the rules in the beginning but I don't think it was malicious."

Fryer said he kept his feeling neutral when lawmakers looked into passing the wine law. It is too early to determine if the wine in grocery stores will affect customer traffic but so far he's not complaining.

"Folks really are supporting the little guys and loving our selection," Fryer added. "It's up to us retailers to raise the bar and figure ways to get folks to come in."

NewsChannel 5 tried to obtain copies of the complaints to determine who made them and where. TABC officials say they are thoroughly investigating the complaints and cannot release specifics. 

If found they have violated the rule, businesses could face up to a $1,000 fine.