The general consensus on Governor Paterson’s proposal to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores: good for taxes and customer convenience, bad for independent producers and the small wine shops who sell them. But in a Times op-ed today, Marco Pasanella of Pasanella and Son Vintners explains that the law, already enacted in 35 other states, could benefit his business. Though he acknowledges the fear that “[b]ig-box retailers will use their superior buying muscle to force me and my fellow independents out of business,” he also believes that one change in alcohol-sales laws could lead to others — like opening before noon on Sundays or selling artisanal beer. But Pasanella rejects the notion that wine drinkers will forgo the expertise and curated selection of an independent store. “Come to us with a recipe for gnocchi with Gorgonzola, for example, and we will help you pair it with the perfect wine. … Try getting that from the teenager with the name tag and the vest.” With Pasanella, we look forward to the possibility of a one-stop gourmet shop. Imagine a Bedford Cheese/Chambers Street Wines/24-hour hybrid. And hey, Paterson, you can tax it all!
Inside Pasanella and Son Vintners. Photo: Andrew Karcie