I try so hard...

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I try so hard...

Postby Alan Uchrinscko » Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:06 pm

...to give the PA Liquor Control Monopoly a chance but they inevitably don't come through.

I got invited to a little wine shindig Saturday. I was looking for a nice inexpensive white. Since the party was in Pittsburgh, I could actualluy stop at one of the "Premium Collection" stores (I'm in the middle of no where at the moment). So I see the ever-popular and rather geeky Cour-Cheverny from Cazin sitting there at about $12/bottle. Perfect. And a '99 no less (these wines get real interesting with a few years of bottle age on them).


I dumped it down the drain. Clearly not stored properly in any way shap or form.

Why do I try?
Alan Uchrinscko
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Re: I try so hard...

Postby Lizbeth S » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:04 pm

I will gladly join in any revolt against the PA Liquor Control Board. Down with driving to a neighboring state to get good wine! Down with carriers refusing to ship wine to a personal address! I can hear the rallying cries now....
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Re: I try so hard...

Postby Steve Guattery » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:50 am


Sorry to hear of your experience with the '99 Cazin Cour-Cheverny, but if your "middle of nowhere" is in Pennsylvania there was a better option than dumping it down the sink. A good thing about the PLCB is that they'll take back any bad bottle and refund your money. I've returned bottles bought in other stores to the Williamsport specialty store, and they've taken them back without problem. Not much consolation for showing up at a wine shindig with a faulty bottle, but at least you could get your $12 back.

By the way, I've recently had a bottle of the '99 sourced from somewhere in the state (I ordered it through the local store, and know only that it came from somewhere "in our region", which usually means from somewhere in northeastern Pennsylvania). It wasn't nearly as nice as the 1996 Cuveé Renaisance or the 2002 regular cuveé, but my understanding is that 1999 wasn't the equal of either of those vintages. It wasn't DOA, however, so I suspect that the mistreatment of your bottle might have been a local thing.
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Re: I try so hard...

Postby Mike Conner » Tue Apr 25, 2006 4:13 am

Hey Alan,

It truly is a crapshoot in PA. My dad resides in the northeast/mid central part of the state, and has shopped at various stores (the 'specialty' stores). But, he has to travel since the closest one is almost an hour drive.

His experience is well over 70% to get a properly handled bottle, but he has had plenty of crappy bottles to make him just want to quit. His favorite example was a couple of years ago the system had '95 Chartogne-Taillet champagne for an extremely reasonable price. He purchased a few bottles in the store he visited, tasted one to find it to be yummy, and went back to see if they had more hidden in the back. No go. But, the "wine specialist" (he says with a smirk on his face), offered to call around to find more. He located a case at 'x' and requested it be sent to the store.

A week or so later, my dad gets the call it has arrived so he drives to the store (remember, no close-by 'specialty' store) buys it and goes home. About a week later, he opens one of the bottles from the case, and is immediately disappointed - it is nowhere near the wine he had purchased previously. And, all the bottles from this case were similar... drinkable, but nothing like the first bottle or three he got originally. (I think at the time, he didn't know the return policy - besides, with a reasonable lengthy drive, isn't like you take one bottle back each time you have a poor one).

But, on the other hand, we've enjoyed many bottles of bordeaux purchased through various 'specialty' stores in the early to mid 90s. And, we've had plenty other Thiese-imported grower champagnes that have been just wonderful.

Go figure.

(note, most of his purchases are from out-of-state. Still visits the state stores for the curiosity and the 'hunt')

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