Saturday, July 24, 2010

For Chateau Lafite press B5

Just when you thought the wine culture couldn’t become sexy enough. Coming to a store near you, the sleek, the exotic, the provocative…the wine vending machine? Whoa. I just heard the music stop. Call forensics, because this has the fingerprints of bad legislation written all over it. Nothing screams you’re a responsible drinker louder than a machine that checks your ID, takes your picture, and performs a breathalyzer test. Smile and say cheese; government cheese that is. Big brother is watching. Do I sound a bit jaded? Nooo, never. I must say all these steps do sound a tad cumbersome and intrusive.

Currently, these machines are being test-marketed in Pennsylvania. The Liquor Board is making claims of consumer convenience and modernization of the purchasing process...Yawn...Other claims include keeping minors from the being able to purchase the wines...Are you still awake?...Ahhh, earth to Liquor Board, minors are not going to purchase kiosk wine unless you offer Mad Dog 20/20. Sorry, I’m not buying this line.

Personally, I prefer to examine the wine before I purchase it. I like to check out the fill level, capsule spin, the flush of the cork, and the color. The kiosk process feels impersonal and inconvenient. If the kiosks offer high-end labels then I possibly do see a benefit, since the wines will be refrigerated. Then again, I still prefer to examine the bottle prior to purchase so this still creates a problem.

I say this not knowing the details of a return policy, so my views may change. The whole process may not appeal to the wine connoisseur but may possibly appeal to the casual drinker. I prefer we save the vending machines for our snickers fix. I predict this pilot program fails to leave the ground. Until next wine…

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