Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wino Forever

Yes, I know this is my second Johnny Depp reference in less than one week...but it just worked, ok?

In keeping with my series on Philadelphia's BYO culture, and since Thursday is Thanksgiving and many folks will head to the homes of friends and family and may like to arrive bearing wine, I thought it a good time to mention a little helpful hint about purchasing wine in the Quaker state.

I'd venture a guess that many of you find it as frustrating as I do that when having a party, you need to make 3 stops - grocery store for food and mixers, beer distributor, and state store for wine and spirits. In other less back-asswards states, people can just hit their local Piggly Wiggly and get it all done in one fell swoop. Not to mention that in many cases these 3 necessary stops are located nowhere near each other! By the time you get done driving and shopping, you rush home to drown yourself in the recently purchased libations.

But there is one shining light in an otherwise dismal state of PA's liquor affairs - The Chairman's Selections. The Chairman's Selections are the PA Liquor Control Board's wayof saying, "We're sorry, loyal patrons and struggling restauranteurs, for being so anal." These are nice wines, (I'm no expert, but they've all gone down smooth so far), supposedly hand-chosen by the LCB Chairman himself (we're to assume he is an expert), available at deep discount prices. The selections change frequently, so there's always something new to try. I've seen $100.00 bottles offered at $49.99, $45.00 bottles for $20, $25.00 bottles for $10, and so on. They're usually displayed along with a nice explanation of the wine's body and flavor and a rating from Wine Spectator or another reputable reviewer. So stock up, it's going to be a long holiday season.

PA Wine and Spirits Shoppes, various locations


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Thanks