The wine in grocery stores law took effect Friday, and hundreds of retailers across the state started selling wine at 8 a.m. It’s a landmark shift in Tennessee’s alcohol laws that potentially has widespread impact on businesses and consumers.
See coverage from earlier today:
3:46 p.m.: Turnip Truck, East Nashville:
“Today’s the day,” one customer said while walking into the Turnip Truck in East Nashville.
Since Tennessee passed the new law allowing grocery stores to carry wine, the Turnip Truck has been planning for today.
On aisle 2, the shelves are stocked with some of the best organic wines a reasonable amount of money can buy, from bottles of Italian and French to cold cans of Oregonian Underwood.
The natural food store sold its first two bottles of red wine just after 8 a.m.
Within reach, customers can also pick up some fine cheese, cured meats, nuts or chocolate. At the start of the aisle, the Woodland Street grocery store has stocked wine tumblers, champagne flutes and bottle openers.
“If you’re headed to a party or just trying to pull together your evening, it’s one-stop shopping,” Turnip Truck chief operating officer Kim Totzke said.
Totzke, a former chef who has lived in the East Nashville neighborhood for 21 years, said the grocery store’s ability to sell wine is about convenience, not getting new customers. She handled the wine buying process from start to finish.
Totzke’s favorites? The Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel and the Love Drunk Rosé. To try the Klinker, shoppers will have to check back another day because it already sold out this afternoon, along with two other brands.
“It’s definitely important to make sure everyone understands that your wine store is still there for that experience with the larger selection and the customer service of a full complete wine store,” Totzke said. She lauded nearby Woodland Wine Merchant for their quality of service.
One customer asked not to be photographed near the wine. He said his good friend owns a wine store but was on his way out with bottles of pinot noir and champagne.
“I will still shop at my favorite wine shop down the street, but I think it’s awesome,” Shawna Lee, 53, said. She was buying a bottle of organic Art of Earth Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. “A lot of states have this down, so it’s good Tennessee does now.”