Wine tales: Another LCB mess | TribLIVE.com
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Excessive consumption can disprove the Latin proverb in vino veritas — (“in wine there is truth”). Perhaps that’s why top Liquor Control Board officials can’t get their stories straight about the LCB’s in-house TableLeaf wine brand.

Conflicting accounts of the brand’s origin from Joe Conti, executive director, and Jim Short, marketing director, suggest TableLeaf is yet another example of LCB mismanagement.

In February, Mr. Conti told the House Appropriations Committee that TableLeaf resulted from suppliers pitching the in-house brand idea during a grape-juice glut several years ago.

But Mr. Short told the Trib he approached two distributors about the idea. He said one declined participation, the other required an order too large for the LCB — so he then approached a broker representing the maker of Trader Joe’s in-house “Two Buck Chuck” wine.

Conti told the House panel that Wine and Spirits Advisory Council members tasted samples from multiple vendors. They say they weren’t involved.

But Conti now tells the Trib an LCB wine educator and outside sommelier (a wine steward) did the tasting. They deny doing so.

Short says mostly LCB employees tasted samples only from the “Two Buck Chuck” maker but the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirits Association was invited to participate. Its executive director says it played no role.

Any credibility the LCB had left is gone.

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