An Object Lesson

If you ever wanted an object lesson in the "Blinders On" mentality that results when a state controls and restricts consumers’ access to wine, all you have to do is read THIS STORY in the Salt Lake City Tribune on ordering wine direct through the state run system that turned into a 5 month odyssey of frustration and surrealism.

The report begins by noting that Utahans often order one of the tens of thousands of wines the Utah state system doesn’t list in inventory from on-line sources then have it shipped to Wyoming, where they go pick it up and drive it back home. Yes, this is illegal, but it turns out it’s really the Utahans only choice is they want to access wine that the good Utah government regulators don’t choose to bring into the state.

But no worries. This illegal activity isn’t necessary: "Under Utah law, consumers
may special order wine, liquor or heavy beer that isn’t one of the
4,000-plus offerings on the state’s listing, says John Freeman, DABC
operations director."

The reporter did just this. He wanted to get his hands on two bottles of Quivera Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley.

He ordered it through the state in November 2007. He got it in May 2008. You’ve got to read this story.

The really ugly part is that were rational wine shipping laws in place in Utah, the reporter could have ordered his wine from any of more than 20 different on-line wine merchants and had it shipped to him within 3 or 4 days of ordering it.

I’m not one of those Small Government, Conservative kind a guys. But when you read this sort of thing you  really start to understand where those folks are coming from when they claim that if you want something screwed up and as inefficient as possible, just give it over to the government to do.


2 Responses

  1. Heloisa Fialho - May 12, 2008

    The whole story sounds like a bad joke. I thought Brazilian bureaucrats were the best in the field of inventing nightmarish situations, but the guys in Utah must be declared champions!

  2. wineguy - May 13, 2008

    When Rick Longoria, owner/winemaker at Longoria Winery, offered to provide some wine for his daughter’s graduation party at the University of Utah, he had no idea what he was getting into. He was required to sell it to the State, which re-sold it to the restaurant (at a markup). Then the restaurant graciously allowed him to buy HIS OWN WINE BACK (at a double markup), so they could serve it to him!

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