June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

For more information, please contact:
Natalie Lester
[email protected]


Petition process will put wine on the ballot on Nov. 4

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (June 9, 2014) – Red White and Food, the nonprofit organization that supports allowing wine sales in Tennessee’s retail food stores, announced the launch of its statewide petition campaign today at a news conference held at the Morrell Road Food City in Knoxville, one of five news conferences held around the state to announce the campaign.

John Jones, a Red White and Food executive committee member and the executive vice president for the Knoxville division of Food City, discussed the petition collection and approval process.

“Food City is one of many retail food stores across the state that will support the petition effort this summer by making the petition available in our stores,” said Jones. “Our customers have continuously asked for wine to be sold in our stores, and we are proud to be part of the campaign to make this happen.”

The wine in retail food stores bill was passed by both the House and the Senate during the 2014 legislative session, and Gov. Bill Haslam signed it into law on March 20.

To get the wine referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot, eligible communities – those that already allow liquor-by-the-drink, liquor stores or both – must submit petitions to the local election commission with at least as many valid signatures from registered voters as would equal 10 percent of the residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election. Registered voters may sign the petition only once. The petitions must be completed and verified by the local election commissions by Aug. 21.

“Our customers who sign the petition look forward to voting on this issue by local referendum,” said Tim Coggins, Knoxville district manager for Kroger. “We look forward to supporting the petition drive to help eligible communities collect the signatures to get wine in retail food stores on the ballot.”

Red White and Food is supported by a number of Tennessee retail food stores from across the state and the Tennessee Retail Association. The group announced May 5 that it has become an independent nonprofit organization and will lead the statewide wine referendum campaign.

In communities where the referendum passes, retail food stores will be able to sell wine beginning July 1, 2016.

A weekly schedule of signature collection opportunities will be posted to Red White and Food’s website and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

For inquiries related to the number of signatures required in Knoxville and surrounding areas, please call your local county election commission at the phone numbers listed below:
• Anderson County: (865) 457-6238
• Blount County: (865) 273-5920
• Knox County: (865) 215-2483
• Loudon County: (865) 458-2560
• Roane County: (865) 376-3184
• Sevier County: (865) 453-6985

About Red White and Food

Red White and Food is a coalition of 30,000-plus Tennesseans who want to purchase wine where they shop for food. Initially founded by the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association, Red White and Food is now an independent 501(c)(6) organization that has the support of the state’s retail food stores. For more information about the wine in retail food stores campaign, please visit