Tatiana Talks

An Open Letter to Governor Ed Rendell Regarding Wine and Spirits Stores

Dearest Eddie,

I hope this letter finds you and Marjorie well. I have been meaning to call on you, but then just today I was in a Wine and Spirits Shoppe and it became urgent for me to write to you at once.

Now, you know I don’t fully understand your reasoning for only allowing state owned stores, but this is not the reason for my letter. I was wandering around a state store (as my mother calls them) looking for a nice bottle to unwind with tonight (it was a really rough day). As I strolled up and down and up and down, through California and Chile and France and Italy, not really impressed by anything I saw.

I heaved a big sigh, wondering why I never had this problem at restaurants or bars. That is when it occurred to me – Ed, our state stores are organized all wrong.

Hear me out.

Okay, so I will admit, I know nothing about wine. NOTHING. I don’t know what a tannin is, I don’t know what I am looking at when I swirl wine around in the glass, and I never, ever, note hints of cherry or smoke or nutmeg. I have once tasted grapefruit in a sauvignon blanc and on another, separate occasion detected grass in a different sauvignon blanc (this is why whenever I want to look smart about wine I order a sav blanc and drink mostly Guinness in the winter).

However, I do know what wine I like and in restaurants it is always easy to find. Why, you ask? Because they organize it by type, not region. Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and (my personal favorite) Interesting Reds (or blends).

Now, you may worry, about wine snobs that care about where their interesting red comes from. Well, I have thought about that, and one, most of my acquaintances that know anything about wine buy it in New Jersey or Delaware (apparently it is cheaper there and the selection is better). Also, the wine connoisseurs that are still shopping in our state, well, they are going to want to inspect the bottle anyway. Unlike me, who buys based on type and then label/name cuteness/cleverness, those who are in the know will pick up a bottle, check the year and the valley and ruminate on soil conditions and then put it back on the shelf and move on. Does it really matter if they are pulling that bottle of merlot off a shelf labeled “merlot” versus “domestic”? Hell, they wouldn’t care if you put all the red on one side, the white on the other and the pink in the middle. This way the could just shop around the perimeter like they do at the grocery store.

Big Sigh.

Sorry, this whole thing gets me very upset. Okay, that’s all. I hope this doesn’t dampen your holiday spirit and that I will still see you at my Mummer’s Party – this time I promise to save you some tomato pie. If not, I will be sure to high five you on Broad Street in May.