Wine could be coming to grocery stores

Wine lovers could soon have more places to buy their favorite bottle.

Governor David Paterson released his budget extender bill today, and among the many proposals is a provision allowing grocery stores to sell wine.

That's good news for grocery stores, but bad news for wine and liquor stores.

Mark Stefanski owns the Brighton Discount Liquors store. He says his business wouldn't go under if grocery stores started selling wine, but it certainly wouldn't help.

"Some places like Wegmans are selling flowers and everything now like shrubbery, and it's like wow, how much more do they want to sell" Stefanski says. "Now they want to sell the wine, which would hurt the liquor stores too."

The Paterson administration estimates allowing grocery stores to sell wine would generate $150 million in revenue.

But some shoppers at the Price Chopper on Erie Boulevard say they don't like the idea. One shopper says taking customers away from small business liquor stores is a bad idea.

"Let the liquor stores have their business, and the grocery stores have so many other products" Camillus resident Donna Zeolla says. "Why make it harder for a small businessman to do his business?"

The extender bill does call for a system to be put in place that would aim to minimize the loss for liquor stores.

Legislators will vote on the bill Monday.