Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A controlled state.

In further answer to Thud's question, in the comment section of my last post, there are a lot of things that are indeed normal in Utah - food, toasty weather and loving family members.  However, in some ways Utah-normal is very different from the California-normal that I have become accustomed to by living in the Golden State for so many years.  One of the biggest differences for me, and one which I consider to be grossly abnormal, is the existence of state run liquor stores.
Alcohol beverage control states, commonly known just as control states, are states that exert a state monopoly over the wholesaling and/or retailing of some or all alcoholic beverages.  Utah, along with seventeen other states, is a control state.  As an adult, a wine lover and an Englishwoman having restricted access to all things alcoholic is anathema to me.  Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that there are some walks of life that government should not meddle with.  Ergo, the informed decision by a consenting adult to consume alcohol should not be of concern to any legislature, state or federal.  But let's face it, the USA's attitude to alcohol on the whole is very different from the norm that I grew up with in England - the land of the free is after all  the country that visited the Volstead Act upon it's hapless citizens.
From the Utah state government's point of view, is there a better way to collect profit and taxes from exercising a monopoly over the sale of alcohol?  I don't think so.  Cha ching!  As it turned out, I was more than happy to fork over some tax revenue to the state of Utah.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the particular state run liquor store that I visited, in Springville, had an impressive variety of domestic and foreign wines to choose from and I exited the premises with two Italian whites.  If for some reason I found myself residing in Utah, I would probably be fairly satisfied with the rather decent assortment of wines available to me.  The prices were normal and in the end it didn't matter who ran the store.
Now, don't get me started on the national 21 year old minimum drinking age...


Thud said...


NHwineman said...

V-girl, NH is a controlled State, and though it has some disadvantages, there is also the State's ability to purchase wines in very large quantities, saving the consumer some green-backs, but I suppose there other ways to do that. I can also buy wine in a neighboring State.
As for control, I believe it is in Oregon that a man was arrested for catching rain-water, now that's control.

Thomas said...


Don't you worry. Britain is on the road toward becoming a nanny in alcohol matters.

My enjoyment over these matters is with the hypocrisy of a country like this. Things like drink and gambling are evil but they are also great state revenue boosters, so the states make laws that say: don't engage in them, but if you must, we'll oblige.

About Last Weekend said...

Totally agree. For five years we stayed at the Alta Lodge in Utah - best, least glam ski lodge in the world with great wine and food. Not sure how they find those wines.

Vinogirl said...

Thud: That's me!

NHW: The prices did seem reasonable so I can see how buying by volume can benefit the consumer.

Thomas: Well, to be quite honest something should be done...I don't think Europeans can stomach much more of drunken British teens, in search of sunshine and cheap booze, puking all over the place. But I don't think the current attitude to alcohol is going to change any time soon.

ALW: Yep, great selection. I love Napa wines, but I also love to have variety in my wine choices.