By Leila Cohan
Wine could be added to the lengthy list of Massachusetts’ farmers market offerings if a bill sponsored by State Senator James B. Eldridge goes through, reports the Globe. Eldridge tells Grub Street that he was inspired to sponsor the bill after getting to know the folks at Nashoba Valley Winery near his home, and that “wineries and farmers markets are both growing across the state. Wineries are a hidden area of economic growth for the Commonwealth.”
Participating farmers’ markets would have to apply for a liquor license and would be expected to enforce underage drinking laws. That’s not enough assurance, however, for Frank Anzalotti, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Package Stores, who charges that allowing wine at farmers’ markets could promote underage drinking. Because there’s nothing that underage drinkers love more than scouring the farmers’ market for small-batch wines! Eldridge is unimpressed by Anzalotti’s reasoning, telling us that “it’s very clear in the bill that the ABCC will regulate the licensing of these farmers’ markets. Frankly, with all due respect, I would suggest that underage drinkers are far more likely to be looking to purchase cheap beer than farmers’ market wine.” Senator Eldridge expects a vote on the bill this fall.