Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey predicts that lawmakers will approve a bill to allow wine to be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores next session.
The Blountville Republican told reporters in Nashville on Wednesday that lawmakers on the fence about the proposal were surprised by the backlash to the failure of this year's bill in a House committee.
That bill died when House Local Government Chairman Matthew Hill, who had supported an earlier version, cast the deciding vote against the measure. Ramsey called that series of events a "debacle."
Hill, a Jonesborough Republican, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Current law prevents grocery stores from selling any alcoholic drinks stronger than beer, while package stores can't sell anything except booze and lottery tickets.