This is about the Virginia ABC–Alcohol and Beverage Commission. Tennessee’s is just as bad if not worse. Unlike in Virginia, in Tennessee you can’t buy wine in grocery stores. Nor can you buy a corkscrew, or or ice, or wine glasses, or anything else you might want to accompany your wine and liquor when you are shopping in a wine and liquor store.
You can have a wine and cheese tasting in a grocery store where you can buy the cheese half of the pairing, but not in a wine store where the other half can only be sold.
You can’t buy wine from out of state and have it shipped to your home. But you can go to a Tennessee winery and have it shipped to your home out of state.
If there’s a special wine you like, you can go to your wine store and have it special ordered, if the winery has a Tennessee distributor. But the winery can use only one Tennessee distributor*, so he sets the price. But if it’s a boutique winery with only a few thousand cases a year, good luck, because many of them won’t sell in monopoly-franchise states like Tennessee.
You can tour the historic distilleries of Jack Daniels or George Dickel. You can even get a tasting there. But you can’t buy any. Not there.
Stupid laws. All of them. And it’s time for them to change. Watch the video; the last line is the best.
I just came back to dinner with Mrs. Krumm and some friends and discovered another stupid Tennessee alcohol rule. Since ABC governs the rules for restaurants serving liquor and wine, but local communities have authority over beer sales, you can get some strange rules. In Nashville, the local government has decided that houses, schools, parks, and churches shouldn’t have beer sales within 500 feet of them. (Remind me some day to tell you about the first trip with my wife when we were stationed in Bavaria and she discovered that looking for the church was how you found the town’s bar–it was always just across the street.) The state, however, has no distance restrictions. So to protect the children–or people whose faith is so fickle that a brewski will send them to satan–at the restaurant we visited tonight you could order wine and Jack Daniels, but not a beer. Yes, dumb. Very dumb.
*There can be only one distributor in each of the state’s four non-overlapping regions.