Drink up, Vancouver! Wine sales will be expanded at grocery stores

Apr 12 2023, 7:49 pm

A motion to make buying wine easier in Vancouver has passed unanimously at City council on Wednesday afternoon.

It will now allow Vancouver to remove the existing “store-within-a-store” model that a few stores had in place, and align with a model that cities like Coquitlam, Langley, and North Vancouver have in place.

Basically, you can take the wine to the till, show your ID, and pay for it through the cashier instead of being forced to buy it in one spot and your other grocery items somewhere else.

But, it will also mean that the teller will need to be 19 in order to sell you the wine, which may lead to a bit of a wait if another staff member or a manager needs to jump in.

There will also be a hurdle in getting the proper licensing for the stores, which falls under the discretion of provincial authorities which regulate the number of licenses available, so it’s not clear which stores will see a change in the near future.

Regardless, wine producers are celebrating the move and say it will help the smaller growers expand their products to a wider customer base.

“Wine in grocery [stores in other cities] has been a huge success for [winneries so far]…We are fortunate that people in Vancouver, the Lower Mainland, and across this province are hugely supportive of 100% BC wine but it’s all about access to the market,” Miles Prodan, BC Wine Growers president, said.

“Allowing wine to be made available to people in Vancouver at grocery stores is hugely important,” he added and suggested that many of the businesses in his association were already in talks of the next steps following the motion’s approval.

With files from Nikitha Martins

Claire FentonClaire Fenton

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