Archive for January, 2017

Love Lost And… Well… Lost (2017 Thoughts On The PLCB)

Vinted on January 4, 2017 binned in commentary, PLCB PLCB


It’s with some hesitation that I mention to you that I was recently quoted in a article about my thoughts on the rebranding efforts of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, most of which were probably too obscenity-laden to print.

I’m not hesitant about the article itself, mind you, but I am hesitant about giving the PLCB any more attention at all, at this point. Primarily because there’s no love lost between me and the PLCB.

Actually, there’s no love between me and the PLCB, period. I hate the PLCB.

My friend Lew Bryson, also quoted in the article, puts it best when he describes the PLCB attempting to rebrand itself: “lipstick on a pig.”

To adequately describe how utterly f*cked up the situation regarding alcohol sales is under the state-run PLCB monopoly here in PA, I refer you to PA Rep. Adam Harris’s comments in a December article, in which he describes PA liqour reform legislation that went into effect in 2016:

“…the two key components that most people will notice is that they allowed for the sale of wine in grocery stores and other outlets and, beginning in mid-January, beer distributors will be able to sell down to the single unit, including allowing for mix-and-match sales of six packs.”

Well, whoopde-f*cking-doo.

Eighty-three years after the end of Prohibition in the USA, Pennsylvania residents can buy wine and beer in the same way that most other states have already allowed for decades. Maddeningly, almost incomprehensibly, that is touted as progress under the PLCB and monopoly system in PA. Nothing is said, of course, of the issues with prices, how in-state wine producers’ products are treated, overall selection, shipping limitations, store employee knowledge-levels, and quality of service; because, hey, you’re allowed to mix a six pack now!

The PLCB remains a nightmare for knowledgeable PA wine consumers, who will only constitute a growing number of the population, given how easily wine product information is disseminated and consumed in our current, ultra-competitive wine market. And the fact that it remains such an anachronistic but powerful body in that market ought to scare the entire wine segment, at least a little bit, because no monopoly is going to make doing business easy on the back-end (there just isn’t enough incentive for mutuality – think about it).

It’s long past time to retire this dinosaur, and privatize the tiers of the alcohol business in PA; not just for the benefit of the Commonwealth’s residents, but quite probably for the benefit of the entire wine industry.





Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For January 2, 2017

Vinted on January 2, 2017 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway?
I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140 characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 13 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage (Crozes-Hermitage): Peppery panache that's punching proudly above its price-conscious weight class. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Middleton Family Wines Cadaretta SBS (Columbia Valley): Cornucopia of tropical fruits; never-ending, until the bottle's empty… $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A BRR – big, ripe, & robust – wine for the Winter evenings that make you go "Brr!" $64 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands): Nothing sleepy about the rich bombast coming out of this glass. $50 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Darms Lane Bon Passe Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): A little more pomp than circumstance, but it's a heck of a show. $60 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Susana Balbo Signature Rose (Uco Valley): Mightily mineral, and delectably delightful, though the lovely stay is a bit too short. $22 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Rosso (Sicily): Somewhere between Grenache, Syrah, Nebbiolo, Pinot Noir, and a hearty smoked brisket. $24 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Vie Vite Cotes de Provence Rose (Provence): This one's got precision, poise, and pith, if not a greater sense of grand purpose. $19 B >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Alcance Carmenere (Central Valley): A lot of spice and herbs, a lot of black fruit, & – importantly – a lot of spunky attitude. $22 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Dutton Goldfield Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley): Flowers, cherries, blackberries; basically a Farmer's Market. $58 A- >>find this wine<<



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