Pa. set to put wine in easier reach

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HARRISBURG – Need a bottle of Chardonnay? A Pinot Noir with the groceries? Just grab your driver’s license and credit card – and skip the mouthwash.

The “wine kiosks” are coming. They’ve already made it to Harrisburg.

A new way to buy wine in Pennsylvania, courtesy of the state Liquor Control Board, the kiosks are elaborate vending machines, equipped with breath-test devices, that dispense wine by the bottle after a few taps on a touchscreen.

The LCB uncorked two test kiosks in Harrisburg-area supermarkets last month.

If all goes well, Philadelphia-area residents will see the machines as early as September. Area supermarkets are still negotiating with the LCB, so it’s too early to say where kiosks may spring up, officials said. They envision as many as 100 kiosks eventually dotting the state.

“On the whole, the program has been very successful, far beyond our expectations,” liquor board chairman Patrick J. “P.J.” Stapleton 3d said Friday. The board took in $16,000 in sales of 1,400 bottles during the first two weeks of the test program, said LCB spokeswoman Stacey Witalec.

Full story: Pa. set to put wine in easier reach | Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/12/2010