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New York rejects wine in supermarkets

Published:  31 March, 2009

New York legislators have rejected a plan to allow supermarkets and grocers to sell wine.

Supporters of the controversial proposal said the move would increase tax revenues by $160 million and boost wine sales in the state by 20%.

But opponents said the move threatened 1,000 of the state's 2,400 wine retailers with closure.

New York is one of only 15 US states where grocers are banned from selling wine, though they are allowed to offer beer.

Wines and spirits must be sold in specialist licensed shops, which are not allowed to sell other goods.

In this week's state budget it looks likely that tax on wine will increase by 58% to 2 cents a bottle.