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Ontario uncorking wine sales in grocery stores by fall: report

Last Updated Feb 11, 2016 at 7:16 am EST

Vincor brands Jackson-Triggs wines are displayed at a Wine Rack store in Toronto on April 3, 2006, as a store employee arranges wine bottles. GETTY IMAGES/Bloomberg/Norm Betts.

Local and international wines could reportedly soon be sold in some of the province’s grocery stores by the fall.

The Toronto Star reports the province will give 70 new wine distribution licenses to supermarkets.

Thirty-five of the licences would be to sell only Ontario wines, while the other 35 will allow sales of international wines as well.

After a three-year phase-in period, all of the outlets will be allowed to sell both foreign and domestic wines.

The province is expected to make the announcement possibly in the next two weeks, the Star reports. And shoppers could start to see wine on store shelves by this fall.

In the coming years, the province hopes to expand wine sales to a total of 150 supermarkets.

The existing Wine Rack and wine store outlets already in some grocery stores will be moved onto store shelves and away from the standalone shops.

The reported uncorking of wine sales comes after beer sales were allowed in select grocery stores in December.

Consumers can now buy six-packs of beer at 60 grocery stores. The Liberal government plans to eventually expand to 450 grocery retailers, both large and small, by 2017.