BUFFALO, N.Y. — For many New Yorkers, getting wine can be a hassle.
Wine is not offered in grocery stores. Instead, you have to go to a liquor store, and the question is, why? It's currently against the law.
That's why some New York State lawmakers introduced a bill this week to change that. State Senator Liz Krueger and State Assemblymember Pamela Hunter proposed a bill that would bring wine to grocery stores.
There's a catch: It would be limited to only grocery stores and does not include convenience stores, drug stores, gas stations, and more.
Also, the store has to have a minimum of 5,000 square feet, and 65 percent of its sales must be food related.
By allowing this, only 1,900 stores would be eligible, if every store participates. By comparison, that's less than the 3,700 current liquor stores that sell here in New York State.
"Our alcohol prices are exceptionally high here in New York because we do have a system where there's pretty much three major wholesaling companies that have almost a monopoly model for selling any kind of alcoholic products in New York," Krueger said. "And that has led to our having higher prices than the surrounding states, which isn't good for consumers."
Another aspect of this bill is offering the incentive to sell New York State wine, which the senator says will bring a big lift to the wine industry.
Right now the bill is waiting for a vote, but with there only being a month left in the session, it probably won't go through. It does, however, provide a chance for lawmakers to weigh in on this.