The Latest: Rhode Island Senate passes wine biscuit bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Latest on a wine biscuit bill in Rhode Island (all times local):

5 p.m.

The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill that would allow bakers to buy up to 2,000 gallons of wine a year from wholesalers if they’re using it to make wine biscuits.

The Senate passed the bill unanimously on Wednesday.

Wine biscuits are commonly sold by Rhode Island’s Italian-American bakeries. The bill would allow bakers to bypass the state’s strict liquor purchasing rules.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, a North Providence Democrat, introduced the bill on behalf of a baker, Kristen Catanzaro, who is also a town councilwoman running for mayor of North Providence.

The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives.


12:30 p.m.

Rhode Island bakers are asking lawmakers to make it easier for them to create an Italian-American treat.

The state Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday on legislation to create a special wine biscuit license that would allow bakers to buy up to 2,000 gallons of wine a year from wholesalers.

North Providence baker Kristen Catanzaro requested the bill. She says she wants to be able to buy wine like she buys her flour, in bulk, instead of making trips to the liquor store.

Wine biscuits are a tradition passed down over generations in the state’s Italian-American households. Bakers mix red wine into dough to create the crunchy cookie.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Democratic Sen. Erin Lynch Prata, says the exception to the state’s strict alcohol laws will help sustain the beloved treat.