Sunday, March 29, 2009

No Cheese for You!

I never thought I would be saying this, but the ABC laws in Virginia are looking pretty progressive these days. The New York Times has been following the discussion over New York State's proposal to allow grocery stores to sell wine as a way to raise tax revenues.
"YOU can do it in 35 states — you can pretty much do it anywhere in the wine-producing world — but you cannot do it in New York. Do what? Stop at the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread, some cheese and a bottle of wine.

Since Prohibition ended more than 75 years ago it has been illegal to retail wine in New York at any place other than a licensed liquor store or a winery. This strikes many people outside of New York, who can buy wine at outlets from Whole Foods Markets to gas stations, as curious if not downright quaint."
It's complicated up there, because wine shops are not allowed to sell beer or food (what?!?!), and Governor Paterson's proposed changes at present do not include leveling the playing field for wine shops. So his plan is not so good, and should at the very least be altered to allow New Yorkers the great feeling of walking out of a wine shop with a lovely cheese and a splendid bottle.

And, of course, simply allowing grocers to sell wine does not magically bestow upon them the priceless benefits found in great wine shops -- hands on personal service, knowledgeable staff, carefully selected inventory (vs. grocery stores' devotion to mass market brands). But you already knew all this, you're reading the kybecca blog!