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Quakers, quake and Wine Dispensers, dispense.

December 2, 2009

I travel. A lot. Shocking, I know. But not even just cool, fun international stuff. I also jump around these here states quite often. My peoples have spread out in recent years, and it’s my mantra that as long as the Mazda is under it’s mileage, I will hunt you down.


The short story: the Quakers came here because despite their jovial appearance on oatmeal, they dislike most things that most people like (although they’re very accepting of nearly everyone) including booze, gambling, and buying booze on Sundays. Hence, we have no wine aisles at the Trader Joe’s, and no cute little wine shops (like in NY) specializing in whatever grape/region/vintage the proprietor adores. Instead we have the incredibly sterile PA State Stores.

Until now… dunt dun duhhhhh. The state Liquor Control Board, trying to be more “customer friendly,” wants to move ahead with two new ways to sell wine to the public.Coming soon to (rough estimate is 2) some supermarkets in the Philadelphia area: automated “wine kiosks.” Technically, if you’re traveling around the state, there’s up to 100 supermarkets and larger grocery stores where you might be coming across something consumer friendly and palate-pleasing (sarcasm), like this:

The kiosks will be feet high and 10 feet wide, would vend white and red wines, and would be located in supermarkets that don’t now have the LCB “one-stop shops” within them for selling both wine and liquor (if you haven’t come across one of these “on-stop shop” markets yet, that’s because there’s only 19 of them in the state).

To buy wine from a kiosk, a buyer would have to insert his/her drivers’ license, to prove that they are at least 21 years of age. Standard, right? But then, if you pass the age test, you go onto the sobriety test. The would-be buyer would then have to breathe toward a breath testing machine in the kiosk, to prove that the buyer isn’t already inebriated. Apparently it’s “highly sensitive.” Seems like this cool “be an issue” reallllly fast, as someone on their way home from happy hour or on their way out after some light pre-gaming would fail to gain from this feature. But maybe I just trust too much from the lack of drunk peoples I’ve seen wandering around a supermarket.

The other initiative is what I’m slightly more excited for – the introduction of LCB boutique wine stores. However, since these would be owned and operated by the LCB, I’m not sure what would make them so much more exciting. Except that they’d be smaller and  located in high-end, gourmet grocery stores. But with no more than 150 different types of wine sold in a boutique store, it seems more limiting then empowering.A competing mantra could be, I will check out your local wine shops and complain loudly about the craptacular state of Pennsylvania state liquor stores. Because if you live in PA and you like to drink, you know more about the Quakers and their lasting effects on our state’s liquor laws then most historians think is healthy.

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