Colorado Grocery Stores Can Finally Sell Wine Effective This Week
Welcome to the 21st century, Colorado. Sort of.
In the first major modernization of the state's antiquated alcohol laws since the demise of 3.2 beer at the start of 2019, effective Wednesday, March 1st, grocers in Colorado will now be able to sell wine in their stores.
Gone will be the days of buying all the ingredients for cooking dinner at the store, only to have to go to a different store to get wine - either to cook with or drink.
The measure narrowly passed back in November, but not without concern. Those opposed to the new ruling say that allowing major grocers to carry wine will significantly cut into business for mom and pop owned liquor stores in the state. Researchers at Colorado State University predict that local stores could lose about 5% revenue with the increased competition. Studies show that's about what they lost once full strength beer was allowed to be sold in grocery stores in 2019.
While many never want to see local mom and pop shops suffer due to competition from large, corporate owned retailers, it does beg the question if it's the price you pay for consumer convenience and whether or not it's worth it. How many times would you load up on ingredients at the grocery store - fresh, frozen or needing to be kept cool right away - only to remember halfway home you also needed to stop for wine? Hot summer days without a cool bag of some sort for meat and dairy sometimes meant leaving cold groceries in a hot car while you ran in somewhere for a few bottles of wine. At best, you're rushed in a liquor store so your ice cream doesn't melt, or at worst, your meat turned into an unsightly gray blob if you took too long.
That will all be a thing of a past come March 1st, as you'll now be able to get it all in one place.
Food for thought: 18 states allow you to purchase beer, wine AND liquor in grocery stores, including our neighbors Wyoming and Nebraska. Will Colorado ever make that list? Time will tell, but I wouldn't bet anytime soon.
Remember the fact that you couldn't even buy alcohol in the state at all on Sundays until 2008. But progress is progress, after all.