Please help, Tom Corbett

    Dear Governor Corbett,

    I’m back from a Southern California vacation with one request: Hurry up and privatize Pennsylvania’s state liquor stores.

    It was 76 and sunny in San Diego when I boarded a plane for Philadelphia. It was 36 and windy when I landed here. Even so, I was very happy to be back home until, that is, I remembered my neighborhood liquor store is mostly stocked with shelf after shelf of fairly mediocre wines.

    I immediately became depressed.

    I’m not a wine snob by a long shot. But I am someone who likes more than just Yellow Tail, Robert Mondavi, BV, Kendall Jackson, Woodbridge, Martini and Rossi, Estancia, Columbia Crest, Gallo, Sutter Home, etc.

    After enjoying several nights of home-cooked meals in California with friends who served such delectables as Zynthesis Zinfandel and Eroica Riesling, I’m almost tempted to break the law and head over to South Jersey to acquire better choices for my dinner table.

    I still have a hard time accepting the way alcohol is bought and sold in this state.

    Part of the fun of going to a wine shop is talking with an insightful merchant who loves the grape, is knowledgeable about pairings and can suggest which hot, new wines to try.

    The complete opposite usually happens when I visit state-run liquor stores.

    One day, I had a hankering for sake and asked a store worker if he knew which one was the driest. He was a very nice man, but all he did was aped my reading labels and eventually pronounced, “Looks like the sake with the grapes on the bottle was probably sweet, therefore, the others must be dry.”

    I ran from the store.

    Sir, I know you have a million things on your plate as The Commonwealth’s new chief executive. But wouldn’t they go down better with a nice Earthquake Cabernet Sauvignon or Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di Tufi bought in Pennsylvania?

    Sincerely,

    A Relatively New Philadelphian

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