Group opposes Internet, grocery store wine sales

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Legislation allowing Tennesseans to buy wine over the Internet is under attack from a group backed by wine and liquor wholesalers.

Tennesseans Against Teen Drinking has a Web site opposing both Internet wine sales legislation and a bill allowing the sale of wine in grocery stores.

The site encourages viewers to contact lawmakers and allows them to sign a petition against the proposals as promoting underage drinking.

Tennesseans Against Teen Drinking spokesman Philip McGowan says the group is a coalition of various organizations, including the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Association.

State Senator Doug Jackson, a sponsor of the Internet wine bill, says that the wholesale liquor lobby wants to protect profits and is trying to hide behind the concept of teen drinking.

All wine and liquor in Tennessee must go through wholesalers to licensed retail liquor and wine stores. Residents can't legally receive shipments of wine from other states; only wholesalers.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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