Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t included selling wine in grocery stores (known as WIGS) in either of his two budgets and now we know why: He thinks it’s bad for small businesses.
It was Cuomo’s first explanation of why he doesn’t support letting supermarkets sell wine, which is legal in many states. He indicated briefly last year he didn’t support it.
Under former Gov. David Paterson, the issue was a prominent one during budget fights in 2009 and 2010—with the state estimating revenue of about $300 million through the sale of liquor licenses to grocery stores.
It was also one of the most expensive lobbying efforts at the Capitol—with supermarkets pushing for the law and liquor stores fighting it. Wegmans spent more than $3 million in 2009 and 2010 to push for the bill’s passage, but it didn’t happen.
New York is the third largest producer of wine in the country and it is a burgeoning industry. Some wineries had supported the legislation, while others opposed it, fearing that supermarkets wouldn’t promote New York-made wines.