It may have failed in successive budget tries under Governor David Paterson and been ignored by Governor Andrew Cuomo who has been quoted as saying the potential benefits won’t outweigh the potential costs, but the idea of allowing food markets to sell wine won’t go away.
Rather than pushing Individually for such a change, the New York Wine Industry Association, New York State Wine Grape Growers Association, New York Farm Bureau, Business Council of New York State, Food Industry Alliance of New York State, New York State Restaurant Association and allied businesses are jointly calling on the governor to change his stance.
“New York Farm Bureau has long supported the sale of wine in grocery stores because of the enormous opportunities that it would provide to New York’s wineries and grape growers,” said Dean Norton, bureau president.
“Studies have shown that making this common sense modification in state law would create more than 6,000 jobs in wineries and related industries and produce more than $70 million in new sales tax revenue. It’s long past time that we remove this barrier to consumer choice and job creation and become the 36th state to make this important change.”
The alliance cites the marked change in the number of businesses allowed to sell wine in 1974 compared to today, as well as the marked increase in the number of wineries in the same period.
They use the 1974 benchmark because that is the year a push began to get then-Governor Hugh Carey to reformulate the state’s winery license law to make it easier for farm wineries to operate more profitably. In 1976, he did so.
In 1974 there were 4,500 liquor stores in the state through which the then-existing 19 wineries could sell their farm product to consumers. Now, there are fewer than 2,500 liquor stores through which more than 378 New York wineries can sell their farm product to consumers. Thus, the alliance contends, wineries no longer have enough retail outlets to reach consumers.
Opponents continue to insist that mom and pop liquor stores would be severely harmed if other businesses are allowed to sell New York and other wines.
Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.