Is the fix in for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s “in-house” government wine program? Do one-legged ducks swim in circles?
Of course, and intrepid Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Kari Andren has found out just how crazy the pinot pond has become, discovering the Czars of Zinfandel ordered store managers to give premium shelf space and signage to TableLeaf and other government-braded wines over those run by private companies.
What’s wrong with that some ask? Well, if you make a living off buying and selling wines and liquors that compete for shelf space in Pennsylvania’s already limited government monopoly, you might feel like Larry Shapiro, the founder of Grape Consulting, a premier restaurant and wine consulting firm.
He called the program’s designed manipulation “spiteful marketing,” and added, “That makes no sense. If (the LCB) is not making any additional revenue off of the brands that are their house brands, then it makes absolutely no sense for them to be positioning those items in any better position than they‘d position anybody else‘s items.”
Wonder if Mr. Shapiro heard about the millions in taxpayer dollars spent for advertising and marketing to accompany the shelf charade?
No bother, it’s all fine in the Wine Shrine, and we can only shudder to think what a movement of “modernization” would do to make things “more convenient.”
Until that great day of liquor liberation, watch your wallet and stay thirsty my comrades.