Let's Whine About Lack Of Wine, Shall We?


I don't know whether I've ever mentioned this on my blog before, but I think I have.

The state of Pennsylvania has the most fakakta (Yiddish for: silly or ridiculous) regulations on alcohol, which they have been slowly changing over the past year and a half by permitting it to be sold in grocery stores (but only wine and beer). However, it used to be that by law, you could only purchase alcohol in wine and spirit stores that closed promptly at 7 PM.

Which is beyond bizarre to me having lived in Florida for 20 years, where you can literally purchase alcohol anywhere and at anytime--a grocery store, a convenient store, a gas station, or even a drug store like Walgreens.

So when I moved back here in 2001, I couldn't grasp the fact that alcohol in PA wasn't more conveniently available because this state, and specifically the city of Philadelphia, is very heavy into drinking. And when I say heavy, I mean H.E.A.V.Y. In fact, that's one of Philadelphia's sacred vocational occupations - alcohol consumption. That's why alcoholics migrate here, because their addiction is not only accepted, but strongly encouraged. The happiest you will ever see this city is on Friday late afternoon when Happy Hour begins, which by the way, continues until late Sunday evening. Here in Philly they don't just have Happy Hour, they have something that's called: Happy All-Throughout-The-Weekend-And-Seven-Days-A-Week Hour.

And don't get me started on what it's like in Philly during the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day because the streets are filled with inebriated people all wearing green t-shirts that say, "Kiss my Shamrock Ass, I'm Irish," while falling over on the streets; barfing up beer and whisky. And that is no exaggeration. One year it got so bad that the paramedics had to be called to pick up people who were lying passed out on the sidewalks, and take them to a hospital. Yes, I actually witnessed that only a block from my apartment.

No lie, this city has more Irish pubs and sports bars than it does grocery stores, department stores, or anything else. Let's put it this way, you could find a drink in Philadelphia faster than you could find the Liberty Bell.

This city needs a new tagline: "The City of Brotherly Alcohol Consumption."

If you enjoy drinking to the point in which your blood level reaches 0.40% +, you should consider moving to Philadelphia, you'll love it. Because people here seem to drink for one reason, and only one reason...to get totally polluted. And that goes for both men AND women.

Mind you, I do drink. As you all know, I love wine. But the extent of my drinking is one glass of red wine in the evening. I have never been drunk or hungover. I enjoy wine for its taste; its pairing with food; and I also enjoy how it mellows me. But after one glass, I'm finito.

Now because of the coronavirus, with the exception of food stores and stores such as Target, all businesses here are closed. I used to shop for my wine at a wine and spirit store not far from my apartment, but now I have to purchase it elsewhere. Which trust me, has not been easy.

I discovered that Whole Foods has a small wine selection, as well as Mom's Organic Market. But because everyone here is buying booze by the truckloads right now, those two stores have been either very low on wine, or completely out.

Also, those two stores don't carry the brands of wine I normally purchase. Additionally, they charge much more for a bottle of wine than I'm used to paying. Yes, I'm very frugal. I don't like to spend any more than $10.00 per bottle, yet I've had to fork out more money because the supply of wine right now is very scarce.

But there's an upside to this.

You see, between having to try different brands and spending more money for wine, I honestly have to say that I'm discovering some really interesting wines that I would have never tried.

Here are four reds that I recently purchased...


The only one I've tried so far is the malbec from Ruta 22. I purchased it because even though I love red wine, I have never tried a malbec so I thought it would be the perfect time. And I'm REALLY enjoying it!

The bottle you see on the far left (Lobetia) is a wine I got from Mom's Organic Market. I liked the description on the label and I've always wanted to try an organic wine, just to see if it tastes any different from non-organic wine. And I also thought the butterfly label was very cool.

*note: I'm a sucker for wine labels.

Oh...and do you remember me saying in several of my previous posts about wine, that I would NEVER purchase a bottle with a screw cap?

Well, look at this...


.....yes...it's a screw cap, can you believe that!?!?

That just goes to prove that one should never say never, because one NEVER knows.

You see, this was a perfect example of what I mentioned in my previous post about adjusting and being adaptable to change. It reminded me that instead of resisting things that I automatically assume are roadblocks, just go with the flow and try a different road

Yup...I am sooooo happy that I was able to discover things that I would have never discovered otherwise...



Cheers, y'all!

And stay well...💗


30 comments

  1. Rob LenihanApril 05, 2020

    Ron, I love this post!

    I never knew what a booze hound town Philadelphia is! It sounds like St. Patrick's Day in New York during the Seventies before the cops cracked down on all the drunks.

    "You could find a drink in Philadelphia faster than you could find the Liberty Bell!" Brilliant!

    I'm a wine lover, too, and I do miss my Prosecco something fierce. I admire how you are adjusting to this new normal and opening yourself up to new experiences.

    And I think that butterfly label is cool. too!

    I slipped coming home from the supermarket last week and smashed a jar of salsa. Furious, I ducked into a local deli, but all they had was green (!?) salsa. I blanched, but I figured, what the hell? And I found it to be quite tasty!

    Green salsa screw cap wine--what's going on here?!?

    You're adapting and changing, buddy, and you're setting a great example for the rest of us, so thank you so much for that!

    And where can I get a hat like that!?!

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  2. Oh Ron, Ron, Ron...you had me laughing so hard through this post. Your description of St. Patrick's Day was HILARIOUS! But I believe you about Philadelphia because a friend of mine attended U of Penn and she said that she partied hearty all throughout her college years in Philly. But I didn't know about PA's strict alcohol laws. Glad to hear they're easing up now.

    LOVE you in that hat! LOL! How did you get that photo?

    Stay well, Ron. And thank you for the laughs. x

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  3. Valerie DaggattApril 06, 2020

    I also love this post. I was riveted from beginning to end. You almost made me wish I had a bottle of wine handy but drinking wine or anything alcoholic doesn't enter my thoughts any more. However, I say again, I love this post. In fact I was riveted as I read it. As I pick up my glass of (wait for it) water I wish you well and happy wine drinking.

    Cheers!

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  4. Thank you for this, because you made me laugh out loud at your descriptions of Philly drinkers! LOL! The CLE is more of a blue collar craft beer town, but the St. Patty's Day parade here is insane, too. My husband hates working on that day because of the vomit on the sidewalks! And being able to hear the drunks all the way up on the 9th floor!

    Over the last few years, we have switched from buying wine in stores to buying online. We get our wines from LastBottle.com. They have great prices on 'last bottles' of a great variety of wines, so every bottle we buy is new to us. The drawback is that you have to buy 6. We give a lot away to our kids. I'm just glad to live in a state where you can buy any booze anywhere!

    Thanks again for the laugh, Ron. I'm going to try to post this week. My husband is hogging the office where my desktop is, so I won't be posting much until he goes back to his own damn office. LOL!

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  5. When we lived in Philly that was one of the first things we noticed - couldn't buy liquor in the supermarkets! We don't drink but I do use wine to cook with - what a PITA.

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  6. I've tried the Bogle. Not Merlot, but a red blend, I believe. It's good stuff.

    Also, I get mad when my wine doesn't come with a screw-cap. It's a PITA to pry a cork out of a bottle, and I invariably end up with some roughage in my wine after attempting that.

    Fortunately, our liquor stores are still open here. Wine is easy to come by. When I first moved to WA, their liquor laws were similarly bizarre. It was only a few years before I moved that they started to allow sales in grocery stores. The taxes are still exorbitant out there. I can get a bottle of tequila for $19.99 plus less than two dollars tax here in SD. Back there, the same bottle would cost me $27.99 with all the extra fees, I kid you not.

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  7. Ron, thank you for a gazillion chuckles this morning! Having never been to Philly, I never knew of its residents' alcohol consumption. I think I'd enjoy visiting an Irish bar, but ONLY for one drink and mostly just to absorb the atmosphere and watch the others. I've never been much of a drinker -- and I'm still not. And since I've gone this long without much desire to start, I guess I'll just continue!


    I didn't realize how hard it is to find alcohol there either. Here, we've got plenty of beer and wine (even in grocery stores and Wal-Mart); the only thing is, I think, you can't buy it on Sunday morning ... or if you're under-age. I'm kind of fascinated by that butterfly label, too.


    Enjoy your week, my friend! xo

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  8. I know, Grace, isn't it a PITA?!? They've changes the laws a bit, but so many of the stores here still resist selling alcohol.

    Florida is like NY, you can buy liquor pretty much anywhere.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Stay well and have a grrrreat week!

    X

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  9. Hey there Rob!

    Yes, Philadelphia is a MAJOR booze hound town! And they have something that's called,
    "Philly Sips" for the whole month of September, in which people can go from bar to bar and just drink for two solid hours and get their booze at a discounted price. OMG...it's a nightmare!

    "It sounds like St. Patrick's Day in New York during the Seventies before the cops cracked down on all the drunks."

    Yes...that's EXACTLY how it is here. However, the Philadelphia cop still don't do anything about it. It's crazy.

    " I blanched, but I figured, what the hell? And I found it to be quite tasty!

    Green salsa screw cap wine--what's going on here?!?"

    HA! OMG...that's so funny! But hey, what are we going to do, other than trying something new? And in the long run, it's actually kinda cool because we discover new things!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Stay well! And give my love to NY!

    X

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  10. Hey there Candice!

    Glad you got a laugh! Yes, St Patrick's Day (and the week prior) are truly a nightmare. During that week, I don't go outside at night because it's scary.

    "But I believe you about Philadelphia because a friend of mine attended U of Penn and she said that she partied hearty all throughout her college years in Philly."

    OMG...you're friend went to U of Penn!?!? That's one of the most beautiful college campuses I've ever seen. It's stunning! And yes, this city is all about PAR-TAY!

    I created that photo at Face in Hole, which is a free website where you can put your face on photos. It's so much fun!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Stay well and positive!

    X

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  11. Glad you enjoyed, Valerie. :) I started to write this about two days ago and just finished it last night.

    It's funny because I didn't drink at all for most of my life. It's only been the last 10 years that I started drinking red wine. I love it. However, I can only handle one glass and then I'm finito,

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous week!

    Cheers and X

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  12. Glad to hear you had a laugh, my friend. I'm trying to find the humor in all this virus insanity to stay positive.

    Philly is a blue collar town as well. However, they don't stop at beer, they drink anything and everything. And TONS of it. LOL!

    "My husband hates working on that day because of the vomit on the sidewalks! And being able to hear the drunks all the way up on the 9th floor!"

    OMG...yes.....isn't St. Patty's Day the worst? And here they start drinking the week prior and continue right up until the parade. And I live on the 21st floor of my building and I can STILL hear them.

    Hey listen, thank you so much for sharing the link to the online wine place you purchase from. I took a quick peek and it looked so cool. Later today, I will go back and investigate further. I don't thing 6 is bad. I usually buy 4 at one time, so what's two more?

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. I look forward to your next post!

    Have a faaaaaaabulous week and stay well!

    X

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  13. Mark, I've seen Bogle in the wine and spirit store I normally shop, but never tried the brand. I'm looking forward to it! It's good to change because it gets old drinking the same brands.

    I don't mind de-corking a wine bottle, I really don't. I actually love the ritual of it. I use a very inexpensive waiters corkscrew and never have any problems. However, I'm anxious to try the screw cap wine that I purchased.

    Oh lucky you that your liquor stores are still open. Ours close over two weeks ago. Yes, and speaking of taxes, I forgot to mention that the tax/fees on alcohol here in Philly it ridiculously high. The tax here on liquor is about the same tax that New York City charges on just a regular purchase.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent week!

    X

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  14. Hello there Debbie!

    Happy to hear you got a chuckle! I'm trying to stay positive during this coronavirus thing, by finding the humor, even in things that are aggravating. LOL!

    When my brother comes to visit Philly, he LOVES the Irish pubs here. There are THREE of them in about a two block radius of my apartment building. I've been in one of them for lunch and the atmosphere was very cool. It actually feels as though you're sitting in a pub in Ireland!

    To be honest, for most of my life I never drink. It's only been the past 10 years that I discovered red wine and I love it; especially with Italian food. But as I shared, one glass is all I can drink.

    "Here, we've got plenty of beer and wine (even in grocery stores and Wal-Mart); the only thing is, I think, you can't buy it on Sunday morning ... or if you're under-age."

    Sounds A LOT like Florida. However, you can buy it 7 days a week there. And yes, you have to show proof of age.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaaaabulous week!

    Stay well!
    X

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  15. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comApril 06, 2020

    I haven't drunk for a while, but I do like a good red wine. We can't buy alcohol in shops here in Sweden either. You have to a special state-owned store to buy drink...

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  16. Well, you have to buy 6 of the same thing to get free shipping, so you are taking a chance whether you will like it or not. They only have one wine offer per day. It's a bit strange, but we've enjoyed using them.

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  17. Yes, I noticed that when I went back to look at the site more closely, they only have one wine offer per day. At first I was confused because I was looking for a wine selection on the drop-down menu and could find it LOL!

    But thanks anyway because I will definitely be going back and seeing what they offer each day.

    Thanks again for sharing the link, my friend! X

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  18. Isn't red wine faaaaaaaabulous, Fiona? I can't drink white because it doesn't agree with me. I think it's the sugar.

    "We can't buy alcohol in shops here in Sweden either. You have to a special state-owned store to buy drink..."

    Ahhh...very interesting! Thank you for sharing that because I didn't know how the regulations were in European countries.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a spectacular week!

    X

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  19. Ron, I was ROFLMAO through this post! I love your snarky sense of humor. You should do stand-up comedy by just telling stories about your life because they are very entertaining!

    My girlfriend and I drink, but we're like you, we only drink wine and not to get drunk. We like when when we prepare a nice dinner. I drink red, but gf drinks any kind of wine. I don't care for white at all.

    That picture of you with the wine hat is so funny! You edited your face in there perfectly.

    Thanks for the laughs today, dude!

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  20. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comApril 07, 2020

    In the UK, you can buy wine and strong spirits ini the supermarkets and most of Europe is the same. But the Nordic countries are a bit different...

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  21. Hiya Matt!

    HA! I used to work with a young lady who suggested the same thing. I don't know though, stand-up comedy is very SCARY. I can write comedy, and when I used to be an actor and did theater I performed in comedies, but not only were those comedies scripted, but I was also onstage with other actors; not standing up there alone. I truly admire stand-up's because it very hard.

    "I drink red, but gf drinks any kind of wine. I don't care for white at all."

    I don't care for white wine either. Not only because of the taste, but also because I have this weird thought that wine needs to be RED. LOL!

    Thanks. I made that photo on Face in Hole. It's a free photo website. LOTS of fun!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!

    X

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  22. Thank you for clarifying that, Fiona. That's how it is here in America, each state has a different regulation law.

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  23. Since I've been working from home, it's been so nice to take breaks and read my favorite blogs. Hysterical post, Ron! Very enlightening about Philly and its love of alcohol consumption.

    " Let's put it this way, you could find a drink in Philadelphia faster than you could find the Liberty Bell." LOL!

    And you're right about Florida, we can purchase it anywhere. I've gotten some of the best wine at Walgreens. One of my faves is Apothic, and they carry that brand. Since the coronavirus, I've been ordering my wine online. I've never done that before, but I'm finding it so convenient and fast.

    Love the picture of you in that hat! Thanks for smiles and giggles, Ron! xo

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  24. Hola Denise!

    So many people I know are currently working from home right now. It's amazing to me how that's working out so well. Glad you have giggle!

    OMG... Apothic wine is one of my favorites as well. And it's funny mentioned Walgreens because years ago, when I visited my brother in Florida, I saw Apothic there. As well as Menage et Trois!

    It's good to know that people are able to order wine (and other things) online, you know? Thank god for places like Amazon!

    Have a great rest of your week, my friend. And thanks for stopping by!
    X

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  25. Ron, that's one of the first things my husband and I noticed when we moved from NY to Philadelphia. We were dumbfounded! And what you say about the in sane amount alcohol consumption here is so true, "The City of Brotherly Alcohol Consumption." that is so funny!!! And where we live in the city, we don't even go out on St Patrick's Day because the people are crazy. But you're correct, the drinking starts the week leading up.

    We are both red wine drinkers. Like you, we enjoy a glass most nights but we're not drinking to get drunk. I did that in college LOL! We've try Bogle and really liked it. My husband is more of a Cab drinker, while I'm more Pino and Malbec.

    Thank you for the laughs, neighbor. Needed it. Stay well! xo

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  26. Hey there Elaine!

    Right? Isn't this city insane when it comes to drinking alcohol and the amount of pubs and bars? I have FOUR pubs within a two block radius of my apartment. And I'm not far from Broad Street, so on the day of the St Patrick's Day Parade, it's so intense and scary.

    I love Pino as well! And I REALLY enjoyed the malbec. VERY tasty and full-bodied. I will be definitely purchasing that again. I love Cab's as well.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you and your husband are doing well. Stay safe.

    X

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  27. My sister used to live in Philadelphia but I don't think she ever mentioned the unusually high alcohol consumption! You know, I drank somewhat heavily in college but I don't see the appeal of getting drunk to the point of being sick. Even back then, I never had a hangover or got sick. Now, I love a glass of red wine or a hoppy IPA on a warm day or a small bit of good bourbon, but I don't like to over-drink.

    We have ridiculous alcohol laws here, too, and only recently got wine sales in grocery stores passed. And you can't buy wine or beer before 8 am because... who knows? I like to get my grocery shopping out of the way early and once had to stand at the cash register for an extra 5 minutes until it was 8 am.

    Do you have Trader Joe's there? They have a really good wine selection and very reasonable prices. I'm a sucker for cool labels, too. And since all the wine in Australia is screw top now, I don't snub those bottles any more.

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  28. Wow...I had no idea your sister used to live here. I don't know what years she was here, but I moved back in 2001 and from that point on they've been opening one bar after the other. Philly also has a plethora of colleges and universities so it's a heavy party town. Several years ago when the Eagles won the Super Bowl, the people here literally destroyed this city--smashing store windows, throwing trash cans into the middle of the street, knocking traffic lights down, and setting cars on fire. Yup....that's Philly! Even when they win they lose, because they don't know how to win.

    "We have ridiculous alcohol laws here, too, and only recently got wine sales in grocery stores passed. And you can't buy wine or beer before 8 am because... who knows?"

    Yes, that's how it used to be here. Over the past year and a half, they've gotten a bit more lenient, but it's still pain.

    I LOVE Trader Joe's and shop there every week, however, the ones here in Philly do not (and will not) caring alcohol. God know's why because they would make a fortune just on sales.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Easter to you and your family!

    X

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  29. Missouri is a lot like Florida in the availability of alcohol. I giggled at your description of the drinking scene in Philly. I don't really understand people who think they need to get $h!t-faced to have a good time. Maybe that's why the state have such stringent rules about alcohol purchases. I can count on one hand the times I've had a hangover (mainly in college) and it's not fun. My go-to drinks now are wine (of course) and coconut rum/Coke 0...or as they say in Cancun, coconut rum and skinny Coke. :-) Anyway, malbec wine in my favorite and I will look for Ruta 22 next time I'm in need of restocking. I usually buy Alamos and Trapiche. I pretty much like all wine from the Argentinean/Chile area. And one glass a night is therapeutic, physiologically and mentally! Happy Quarantine...hope you enjoy your new wine adventure. X

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  30. Hey there Lisa!

    HA! Yeah, Philly is one HEAVY drinking town. PAR-TAY!

    " I don't really understand people who think they need to get $h!t-faced to have a good time. Maybe that's why the state have such stringent rules about alcohol purchases."

    I don't either. I mean, when you get to the point of being $hit-faced, how much more $hit-faced can you get?!? It's not even enjoyable. I don't think that's the reason because the city (our Mayor and police force) do nothing about the drunk people in the streets, causing fights and destruction. They just don't care.

    "My go-to drinks now are wine (of course) and coconut rum/Coke 0...or as they say in Cancun, coconut rum and skinny Coke. :-)"

    Oh my, that coconut drink sounds delicious.I love coconut! Many, many years ago when I was living in Florida, I would sometimes have a Pina Colada. Loved the tropical taste!

    I'm so happy I finally tried a malbec because I REALLY enjoyed it! And it was very reasonably priced. Yes, I've had wine from Chile as well and enjoyed the taste.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Happy Belated Easter!

    Stay well!
    X

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