From the Village Voice:
While you can get a drink of just about any kind of fermented beverage in thousands of establishments of all sorts in this city, at just about any time of the day or night, there's one thing you still cannot do in New York: pick up a bottle of wine while you're buying groceries.
The thing is, New York's blue law isn't about lingering religious attitudes about alcohol, the way it is in places like Utah.
New York's grocery store wine ban is purely about political power.
In the last six months, the state's supermarkets mounted another sustained political campaign to repeal the wine ban—this time, enlisting the help of a supportive governor. But once again, a powerful group of New Yorkers succeeded in blocking the measure.
Who was it that blocked wine sales in grocery stores? Our own version of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union? Or some other association of uptight Carrie Nations?
No. It was the state's liquor stores and their lobbyists.