Wolf Signs Bill Allowing Wine To Be Sold In Grocery Stores, Internet

Jun 8, 2016

 

In this June 25, 2010 photo, shoppers walk past the wine selection offerings from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's self-serve wine kiosk at a giant food store in Harrisburg.
Credit Bradley C Bower / AP

A new law gives Pennsylvania consumers many more options about where to purchase their favorite varieties of wine.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation Wednesday allowing wine sales in grocery stores and making other changes to how alcohol is sold.

The new law lets licensed groceries and restaurants sell up to four bottles of takeout wine per customer. The measure also puts into law convenience store sales of beer. But Eric Annino with the Pennsylvania-based wine blog Terroirist called the law 'incremental.'

"Basically what it's doing is adding wine to the institutions that can already sell beer now, because of the loophole for restaurant liquor licenses."

Annino said he's not sure how much the new law will help wine enthusiasts like him who seek out small specialties wines outside of the state. Instead, he would like to see liquor sales privatized.

"What I really care about is the wine. I just think the ability to buy wine over the internet is the greatest victory in this bill," said Annino. "Buying wine at the grocery store is great for convenience, but I'm more speaking toward collection. Being able to find stuff that's not found in the state stores."

State stores will also have more flexibility about hours and pricing, and consumers can have wine shipped directly to them from private wine wholesalers who obtain licenses from the state.

The union that represents employees of state liquor stores was strongly opposed. Liquor sales are not impacted by the new law.

Content contributed by the Associated Press.