The third and last part of our yearly top 10 comparison of the PLCB's bureaucrat wine pickers to real professionals at Wine Spectator. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, you can check them; quick recap is pretty simple — the PLCB has two of the top 9 on the shelf. One is available at 5% of their stores, the other at 10%. Not exactly stellar, but that's what the citizens in PA have come to expect. When you select for the entire state, you should be able to select the best...or you have failed. We've pretty much been living with failure in PA for 83 years.
Wine Spectator says:
Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013 (MSRP: $90; cases bottled: 1,600)
Did the PLCB get it? Did they?
Of course they didn't, are you kidding? Lewis Cabernet Sauvignon is not available here: not just this vintage, but any vintage, and no SLO either. Why would you expect otherwise? The PLCB has a history of failing to satisfy wine aficionados and the citizens in general so why would this year be any different?
But you can find it in private stores in other states, just the way you could here, if Pennsylvania were allowed to have private stores owned by people passionate about wine.
Now I understand that $90 wine isn't for everybody. In fact, that's one of the arguments the pro-PLCB types bring up: "Why do you need that $90 wine?" But when you are the only legal outlet, you have to provide for ALL wants and desires — within reason — just like the private market would. They may say, "No private store has all of these wines!" That may be correct but in the real world of retail you can go to another store that does. Anything less is failure, and we have been accepting failure for far too long.
So with a dismal record of 20%, the PLCB marches on to the beat of trying to survive at our expense, of not satisfying consumer needs, of being inconvenient and incompetent. Of being second rate, because they will never be able to lead.
I'll have some other PLCB wine info coming up and we'll see if they can come closer to the professionals...or if they remain the 1,000 monkeys typing away at 1,000 keyboards trying to replicate Shakespeare.
When something doesn't work or work well...you replace it. Pretty simple really. Privatize.