Sunday, June 27, 2010


This is the news story I woke up to this morning on NPR.
Background: It is not possible to purchase any alcohol in grocery stores in Pennsylvania. Two Buck Chuck? ... is a myth at Trader Joe's in Philadelphia. This is a pain when you have to got to two different places to get all of the things you need because the Wine and Spirit stores are conveniently located nowhere near any other stores you want to shop at.
Here's the story:
The state liquor board would like to try a pilot program of selling wine in grocery stores. The program involves a kiosk where patron will have to insert their driver's licence, then stand in front of a camera for verification. A state liquor board employee will monitor the kiosk from a remote location to verify that the driver's licence is really you. The kiosk is also equipped with a breathalyzer to be sure no one is drunk.
Said a spokes person for the state: "We feel that jumping through a few hoops for the convenience of being able to purchase wine easily located next to the cheese shop or butcher, is a small price to pay for being able to match your wines with nice foods." (I'm paraphrasing - a bit - but not much.)
A couple of things spring to mind here:
1. 1984?
2. I'm not convinced that people who are going to the grocery store to match their fine foods with wines are the ones we really need to worry about, and anyone will to jump through those hoops is really not someone to worry about.
3. Actually, the liquor store is the closest thing to my neighborhood - the grocery store is three blocks further. (but let's not get into that issue in this post.)
4. Why can't I buy cooking sherry, or vermouth in the grocery store!? If I'm going to be matching nice wines to what I'm cooking, how about making it a bit easier access to some of that stuff.

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