Wine at restaurants could get cheaper

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida lawmakers are considering a bill allowing businesses to buy wine in five-gallon kegs.  Containers that hold more than a gallon of wine are currently banned by a state law dating back to prohibition, which ended in the 1930's.

Senator Wilton Simpson is the sponsor of the bill.  He says wine kegs are legal in 48 other states.  If legalized in Florida, wine kegs would help businesses save money by keeping more wine fresh.  The lower cost could then be passed along to customers.

Wine kegs could boost sales of individual glasses of wine.  Wine in bottles starts going bad after it's opened.  Kegs keep wine fresh even after pouring some out.  Some restaurant owners say the current process forces waiters to uncork dozens of bottles to sell wine by the glass.

Legislation would legalize 5.16 gallon kegs.  That holds about two dozen bottles of wine.  The bill could boost business for Micro Matic in Brooksville.  That company makes parts for wine kegs.

The bill has now been passed by a Florida senate committee along with a unanimous vote in the house.

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