Get Your Drink On: Wine Kiosks Are Here!
Back in January, we wrote about access to booze in Pa. and lawmakers’ attempts to improve it. No, the plan never included sales in grocery stores. No, it didn’t allow for independent wine and liquor stores. Instead, this weekend the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board installed and opened its first Philly-area wine vending machine. It’s in Drexel Hill, the Fresh Grocer, 5000 State Road.
We know buying wine from a machine is the 4th mark of the beast (the first was soda vending machines, the second was snacks, third was “ice cream of the future”) but we’re still pretty psyched about it, and we know our Delaware County readers are, too. Prices in the machine range from “Drunkard on a bench” ($5.99) to “I’m cheap, so, no” ($39.99).
Philadelphia Business Journal:
Still, the kiosk program has generated controversy. Supermarket owners have said it gives markets with the kiosks an undue advantage. Wine lovers have also balked. John Kafarski, who writes a blog for WineCultureProject.com, wrote that wine “will be treated like nothing more than soda in a vending machine.”
Nonetheless, the PLCB plans to introduce up to 100 kiosks statewide. It is finalizing contracts with supermarkets, it said.
The kiosks themselves were developed by a suburban Philadelphia company, Simple Brands LLC of Conshohocken, Pa. They feature technology that reads the buyer’s photo ID as it is inserted into the kiosk. The photograph on the ID is matched with a video image taken of the buyer. A PLCB employee at a remote location monitors each transaction. The kiosks also have a built-in breathalyzer.
We urge you to check out the other criticisms of wine kiosks, namely the stuff we alluded to about 150 words ago. There’s something to be said about people who believe vending machines can lead to microchip implants that murder you.