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Published reports say that supermarkets and other food stores in New York State are hoping to attach an item to the state budget bill that would allow them to sell wine, an option that they never have had to this point.

While liquor stores that sell wine would see this as a disaster for their businesses, it is said that such a move could bring in $130 million to state government in the first year, in licensing fees and sales taxes. The size of this dollar figure could make the change in state law more attractive, since New York -- like many other states -- is wrestling with budget issues this year.

New York is one of 11 states that do not allow food stores to sell wine, though it does allow those stores to sell beer.
KC's View:
We think this would be a highly civilized change in state law, and think it would be exciting to see what a chain like, say, Wegmans, could do if it could merchandise wine with its terrific fresh foods.

Of course, some food retailers already sell wine out of separate units; Stew Leonard’s, for example, sells wine and liquor out of a store adjacent to its Yonkers location, though it had to jump through a number of hoops (some might call them loopholes) to make sure it kept the businesses separate. On Long Island, where the family will open a new food store in a couple of years, there’s already a Stew Leonard’s wine store (albeit under separate ownership), testifying to the power of wine sales for a food-oriented operation.