Giant Eagle launching wine sales in state.

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A grocery store in Pennsylvania has become the first since Prohibition to sell wine in the state.

Giant Eagle launched its wine sales Friday in Robinson Township.

In a small portion of the Market District café in Settlers Ridge there is now wine for sale. It’s a first in Pennsylvania.

“I bet I’m not the only one here who thought this day would never come,” said Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet.

But after years of legislative wrangling it’s here, and it didn’t take any time at all before the first bottles were on their way.

“It’s very convenient and we’re happy about it,” says Nancy O’Neill, of Kennedy Township.

For the debut, Giant Eagle brought in the top sellers in the LCB stores.

“What you see in this store today is only about 15 percent of what our future distribution will be, so we plan to have more than 450 unique wines,” said Brian McDole, the beer, wine and liquor director.

The Settlers Ridge Market District store is just the first of 16 Giant Eagles in our area that will be selling wine.

The next round of stores will be selling wine probably by the end of October

As for pricing, private wine retailers like Giant Eagle must buy its stock from the state.

“There is really no need for a government wholesale bureaucracy. It’s an additional layer and an additional cost to the consumer,” said Mike Turzai, the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House.

But it’s the law for now and it also includes pricing controls.

If the Liquor Control Board sells you a bottle of wine for $10, Giant Eagle buys it for 10 percent less – or $9 – and cannot sell it to you for less than that amount. There is no price ceiling.

KDKA checked Giant Eagle’s pricing on Friday and found bottle-for-bottle the same price at the Market District as the state store in Robinson Township.