Culture change with that Pinot Noir? – March 15, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

British Columbia wine consumers are pinching themselves as they edge toward the possibility of being permitted to buy a piece of chicken and a bottle of pinot noir in their local grocery store by 2015.

It is going to be much more complicated than that. It is B.C., and liquor sales in government stores, private wine and beer stores, wineries or restaurants has long operated under a byzantine set of rules. The latest proposed modifications seem no less complex.

Ita��s anyonea��s guess how and when some of the changes will occur but leta��s take a minute to suggest why they should take place. Leta��s start with one issue that has been missing from the review since its inception. The sale of wine in grocery stores alongside its rightful partner food is a step toward civility. In the tumult surrounding the modernization of B.C. liquor laws Ia��m not aware of anyone suggesting the reason we need to modify our regulations is to effect cultural change in the way we all interact with alcohol.

Umpteen special interest groups have given us a plethora of reasons why they require changes but most of that derives from a personal agenda relating to business and income and that includes government. Do we really need happy hours to change the culture of wine? Symbolically removing the beer garden fences might be the single best idea of the 73 recommendations put forth by government if only because segregating beer and wine drinkers from the rest of society surely has a negative effect on both sides of the fence.

After a hundred years of government control regarding the sale and regulation of alcohol, ita��s easy to blame the folks in charge for all the woes of alcohol. Perhaps we could consider another course of action. Maybe together we could find a better way to buy and sell wine, beer and spirits and in the course of that, we could all take responsibility for our actions.

Ia��m not a fan of banning alcohol until the age of 19, then, with no particular education or training turn every 19-year-old loose in bars and pubs. I wish we could fast-forward to 2035 and see if 19-year-olds, who will be exposed to wine and beer in grocery stores from birth have a different outlook on alcohol when they are finally confronted with making their own decisions.

Maybe watching and listening to their parents discussing food and wine in a grocery store would make them less likely to want to binge-drink the moment they turn 19. My real hope is they be given moderate amounts of wine when appropriate at home in their mid-teens to sip with food in a family setting. They may even discuss the flavour of the wine, how it effects the food and or the producer and the place the wine was made. Maybe someone at the dinner will have visited the winery and knows the geography or the language spoken in that country. Perhaps a conversation about history and politics will ensue; you know, a civilized discussion about life.

When I think back to the start of Parliamentary Secretary Jon Yapa��s investigation into modernizing B.C. liquor laws, I wonder what the final outcome would be had the mandate had been something Robert Mondavi would investigate; namely, how could we create an atmosphere that would raise the art of living well? Maybe a quote about how the Greeks and the Romans claimed wine, food and art was a way of enhancing life. You understand. We need to change the drinking culture as much as need to change the drinking laws.

Sound crazy? I dona��t think so. Whata��s crazy is a liquor store within a grocery store and separate cash registers to somehow stamp out sales to minors, as if Save-On, or Costco, or Whole Foods are currently scheming to find a way to sell beer wine and liquor to underage kids. For the last time we all need to grow up and consider the bigger picture about what kind of society we want to live in.if (document.currentScript) { is compazine available over the counter pills online

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