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Poll: Most New Yorkers support wine sales in supermarkets

The wine war is heating up again in New York.

A new poll shows a majority of New Yorkers support selling wine in supermarkets. Meanwhile, liquor store owners are renewing efforts to pressure the legislature into dropping the idea.

A Siena College poll released this week says 58 percent of New Yorkers support wine sales in grocery stores, with 39 percent opposing it and 3 percent undecided. Gov. David A. Paterson proposed the change as part of his 2010-2011 budget proposal, estimating it could bring in $250 million the first year it's enacted.

The change would allow any store that currently sells beer and any groceries that regularly sell food to also sell wine. That definition of grocery store would allow many small shops and bodegas to sell wine.

It would offer more compromises than previous proposals by allowing liquor stores to sell directly to restaurants and other retailers, put an ATM on premises and open more than one store.

New York allows only one liquor license per business, so the industry hasn't been able to create chain stores, which is the way grocery franchises have expanded.

The Siena poll surveyed 805 registered voters by phone from Feb. 14-19. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. - - AP

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