The Straits Times reports on an unfortunate story from Bangladesh. More than 10 farmers have died after purchasing the wine equivalent of moonshine. As the purchasers of the illegal booze discovered, the brew made from rice turned out to be deadly. As the Straits notes, the sale or consumption of liquor outside of government approved establishments is illegal. So this in part explains why those affected didn’t immediately seek medical attention.
Reflecting on an earlier post on wacky US wine laws, this horrible incident puts a lot of our silly laws in perspective. And serves as a good reminder on why winemaking is done by professionals.
I’ll admit: I’m a technology optimist. I’d like to believe we humans are getting better at this whole society thing as the years go on (although environmentalists might disagree). But when it comes to the wine industry, it’s tough to be glass half-full. Despite a few refreshing examples to the contrary, wine sales have been hampered by bureaucratic politics, beer/hard alcohol lobbyists, and backwards thinking. US online wine sales in the US are Byzantine at best and impossible at worst.
Take the wonderful state of Pennsylvania. Their liquor review board recently announced that you can purchase wine at kiosks in select grocery stores. Hooray!