Cheers! Vending Machines to Dispense Wine in Pennsylvania

If a plan from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board becomes reality, wine lovers may soon be able to buy their favorite vintage from a vending machine.Wine lovers in Pennsylvania may soon have a new reason to raise a glass: vino vending machines. If a plan from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board takes effect, customers in approximately 100 locations around the state will be able to buy bottles of wine from vending machines starting in late September or early October.

The vending machines are intended to make it more convenient for shoppers to buy a bottle of their favorite vintage. After all, residents of the Keystone State have complained for years that state stores offer poor selection and high prices, and often travel to neighboring states, such as New Jersey and Delaware, to buy alcohol. Pennsylvania's liquor laws, which date back to Prohibition, are widely considered among the most Byzantine in the country.

But LCB officials admit the machines won't save taxpayers any money. And as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes, not everyone is thrilled with the idea. The union that represents state-store managers has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the LCB, claiming that wine kiosks would reduce wine sales at liquor stores and result in layoffs at those stores, the newspaper reported.

How to Get Wine from a Vending Machine

Under the LCB plan, the machines -- which are 7 feet wide and 8 feet tall -- would be placed in locations, such as supermarkets, where alcoholic beverages cannot currently be sold under Pennsylvania's liquor laws.

Buying a bottle of wine from a machine is more complicated than purchasing a can of soda. Here's how it works: A customer inserts his or her driver's license into the kiosk, which processes the age information from the bar code and matches the photograph on the driver's license to a video image of the buyer at the machine. An LCB employee will also monitor each transaction remotely to make sure that the buyer in the video matches the ID. In addition, the kiosks are equipped with built-in breathalyzers to make sure that the buyer isn't already drunk.

Retailers have been skeptical of the idea, arguing that the security measures wouldn't deter sales of alcohol to minors. In test marketing, the machines have proven a rousing success, according to the LCB. State officials say the transactions take about 20 seconds.

Simple Brands plans to provide the kiosks to the LCB for free. The company profits through advertisements on the machines and a $1-per-transaction convenience fee.

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Regenald FarField

Are you guys kidding? My inner alcoholic is screaming for one of these right now!

November 17 2011 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nadia Zychal

Sounds like a great way to get herpes. Yuck.

September 11 2010 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Craig White

Did I read the article right? You will have to take a breathilizer test in order to purchase? Whom is going to disinfect the apparatus after each use? If this is the case I don't see many people lining up to put their lips where God knows whom elese has...let alone where have your lips been lately?

September 11 2010 at 7:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ldfashion

This is the stupidest idea I have ever heard. It will last about a week.

September 11 2010 at 7:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ldfashion's comment
jbjg24m

think thats what they said about beer in a can !

September 11 2010 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Raejean

I never understood why it is a routine breeze for anyone in the State of Maryland to drink at any bar or club and walk right out unmolested and presumably drive their car under the influence. Yet an adult supermarket shopper can't pick up lighter alcoholic beverages like beer and wine along with the accompanying food to be served-at home. Insult to injury, you still have to make another stop when it's only a flavoring ingredient. But DUI is just peachy. Stupid laws!

September 11 2010 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marver6@aol.com

INSTEAD OF KIOSKS, WHY DOESN'T THE STATE JUST SET UP 'WINE MERCHANT' LOCATIONS. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE ARE MANY PLACES THAT EARN A NICE INCOME SELLING ONLY WINE.

September 11 2010 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Recamen

*Laughs* Now all they need is "Wine in a can" and we'd be set.

September 11 2010 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Recamen's comment
marver6@aol.com

Recamen, don't you know that they already have wine and wine coolers in cans

September 11 2010 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nonie

I lived in PA all my life, I always thought state stores was one of the stupidest ways to buy booze until they came up with wine kiosk idea. The state is making money and they are never going to give up the state stores. Believe it or not they had their employees take classes to be friendly to customers!

September 11 2010 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snowbound2

The system is outdated and inconvienient. State stores have rotten hours, run by the state LCB. The reason the wine selection is so poor is that all liquor has to go through a state warehouse before it goes to the actual state stores. Its not worth it for smaller wineries to try to market their products after getting in state and out state taxing. If the stores were closed, they could make a fortune on just the real estate sales of the buildings. It's a tax control issue for taxing each bottle

September 11 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
doodlewhopper12

Pennsylvania is full of damned yankee liberals...."nuff said. .....they are so backward, that most go to family reunions to find a mate......next thing you know they will be putting already drunk girls in vending machines.

September 11 2010 at 12:02 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to doodlewhopper12's comment
snowbound2

another antagonistic butthole.

September 11 2010 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

SO, now we know how your sister gets a date. Nice

September 11 2010 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply