Government Wine


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is now selling wine on the Web.

"It is our goal to make the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board the preeminent wine and spirits retailer in the world," says agency boss Jonathan H. Newman. The world!

No word on how he expects to achieve that lofty goal when all purchases from the Web site must be picked up at a wine shop located in Pennsylvania.

NEXT: Dishing It In

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  1. And, in addition to *driving* to the State Store to retrieve one’s sinful booty, they expect you to pay shipping!

    I grew up in PA. The state has the most idiotic liquor “control” policies in the country. I would say, “the world,” but that would put them above the Swedish Systembolaget…

  2. quaker1: Ever been in Oklahoma?

  3. Jim,

    Utah’s liquor laws are slightly less goofy now.

    The restaurant can give you a wine list when you sit down, there are Brew Pubs (2 within walking distance to the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City) and some of the State Stores stay open until 11 PM. In Sinful Heathen Park City, I think the State Store stays open even later.

    Here’s a goofy idea…….

    What if we could buy our Crystal Meth in the State Meth Store? The state would tax it & use the proceeds for education or paying more Olympic Bribes or paying Karl Malone to retire? What if it were produced not in people’s houses but in that abandoned Army Depot out in Tooele County? Instead of risking your neighbors’ & kids’ lives making Meth in your basement; you would drive to work every day and pay income taxes on the salary you made for making meth.

    Certainly, this would not be ideal compared to an end to the futile, racist & fascist Drug Prohibition; but it would be a start in the right direction.

  4. How about Utah? I don’t know if they’ve changed anything since I left there 10 years ago, but in addition to the state liquor stores (which close at 9 PM on a Saturday so better make sure you buy enough booze for your party ahead of time), you can’t buy keg beer (only bars and restaurants can do that), all beer is mandated to be 3.2% alcohol max, the so-called ‘beer bars’ that only serve beer and ‘beer coolers’ (wine coolers with some small % of malt added so they can technically sell them as beer), and ‘private clubs’ that you have to buy a membership to in order to get ‘hard’ drinks.

    Utah is probably not as bad as some states that actually have ‘dry’ counties, but their system is remarkable for its silliness.

  5. PA also is finally opening some of the State stores on Sundays.

  6. Josh,

    You’re correct that PA is opening some of the state stores on Sunday, but it’s only 10% of the stores and the real kicker is that if you look at the stores they’re talking about opening, a significant portion of that 10% are stores close to the border.

    The obvious reason is that the state, rather than opening some on Sunday because they realize the idiocy of the current system, is doing so because they are tired of losing revenue to New Jersey and Maryland when PA residents that are able to do so take a quick jaunt across state lines to buy a bottle or two on a Sunday. I can’t say for sure, but people in other parts of the state are still gonna be pretty much screwed.

    Sorry for that long-winded rant, folks, but the PA Liquor Control board and the state store concept here are a major personal pet peeve of mine.

  7. I’ve lived in North and South Carolina and thought that their systems were the epitome of Christian-morality derived “we know what’s best for your.” But I’ve learned that Pennsylvania (where I’ve been living for a year and a half) has got them beat. Compared to this state, I’ve been living in a Sodom as catered by Hef’s Chicago home.

    For beer, they give you two choices: the limited selection from the local bar, or a wide selection from the “warehouse” that demands that you buy two cases minimum. Even a dedicated beer drinker like me thought it was a little too thick to have to spend $60 just to sip a Guinness or two on the weekend.

    My favorite was my attempt to buy a Pennsylvania wine at the local “Wine & Spirits Shoppe” (don’t laugh, that’s the official name, ampersand included). Checked the wine selection. No PA wines. Finally found it in the hard liquors section, next to the tequilia. Now that’s marketing!

    And draft beers run $3 to $4 in the bars.

    That’s why I buy my beer in Delaware. $7 for a 4-pack of G. and no sales tax.

  8. In addition to short hours, limited selection, and phoney discounts based on its centralized pricing scheme, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board system has created a career class of the laziest and least-motivated workers this side of the state’s notorious Department of Transportation.
    Case in point…when I first moved here and visited my local state store, I made the mistake of asking the clerk to recommend a good wine to go with lamb. He jutted his chin in the direction of the far wall and said, “Wine’s over there.”
    You needn’t ask…United Food and Commercial Worker’s (UFCW).

  9. Can any one comment on the storage conditions of wine in PA warehouses? Usually,

  10. Contrary to national belief, Oklahoma does not have state run liquor stores. They are all privately owned. Oklahoma allows liquor stores in all 77 counties. Title 37 sets the hours of sale between 10AM and 9PM Monday through Saturday. Supermarkets, convenience stores and drug stores can sell 3.2% alcohol by weight beer (4% alcohol by volume) from 6AM until 2AM 365 days a year. Restaurants in the 41 counties that allow liquor by the drink can sell liquor, beer and wine until 2AM seven days a week. Although Oklahoma law requires beer to be sold at room temperature in liquor stores, it proves to be profitable for liquor store owners since they do not have to operate coolers. For further questions, e-mail me at concerning the “how’s, why’s and any coming changes” to Oklahoma liquor laws.

  11. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/27/2004 12:05:26
    Very interesting things in you site

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