Wine in Supermarkets Debate Turns Biblical

The leader of the largest Christian denomination in the state begged state lawmakers not to expand what kinds of stores can sell wine. Until now, this year’s debate over wine in grocery stores has been about economics and fairness, not morality.

The legislation would ultimately leave it up to each city to vote on whether to allow wine in supermarkets. It’s similar to the way towns can vote on sales of liquor by the drink, and Randy Davis of the Tennessee Baptist Convention says such policies involving alcohol divide families.

“It gets bad in these towns over these kinds of issues,” he said.

Davis says he worries about the expected increase in wine sales after it becomes more accessible.

State Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro is sponsoring the legislation and points out that when the Bible mentions wine, it’s usually in a positive light.

“Wine has been around a long time," Ketron said. " Jesus poured it.”

Ketron says communities deserve the right to vote on making wine more convenient.

After yesterday’s two-hour debate, a Senate committee is expected to vote on allowing wine in grocery stores today.

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