Wine to be sold at Toronto supermarkets later this year
At the tail end of 2015, we saw beer appear in Toronto-area grocery stores. Now, as the Toronto Star reports today, wine will also be making its way to supermarket shelves – though don’t expect to conveniently pick up a bottle until later this fall.
As the Toronto Star notes, 70 grocery stores will likely sell wine later this year. The province of Ontario will make an official announcement at the end of the month, but stores should soon be able to bid for these wine distribution licences.
Out of the 70 licences available, 35 will restrict retailers to selling only Ontario wines; the other 35 will be unrestricted. This is smart move to put the focus on locally made wines, with the focus intended to be on VQA products rather than “International Cellars” plonk that many existing Ontario wine shops offer in large quantities.
And after three years, all of the licences will enable stores to stock both local and internationally produced products.
The province plans to bring wine to 150 supermarkets by 2019. The number of licences will not, however, be capped. Unlike beer sales (which is allowed for 450 stores), the idea will be to respond to consumer demand in issuing licences to sell wine.