Prospects brighten for wine in Tenn. groceries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The top two Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly support allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets.

And the influx of new GOP lawmakers is giving them the opportunity to reshape key committees where efforts to make that change have long been corked up by opponents.

Under the state's restrictive three-tiered beverage control system, every drop of alcohol is supposed to flow from the manufacturer to a wholesale distributor and finally to the retailers. And any bottle stronger than beer can only be bought at one of 501 liquor stores around the state.

Both the House and Senate speakers say they support the latest proposal to counties that currently allow liquor sales to hold a referendum on whether to remove liquor stores' exclusive right to sell wine.

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