Walmart Wants In On Pennsylvania Wine Vending Machine Bonanza

Remember those wine vending machines at Pennsylvania grocery stores? They’ve proven successful enough to turn heads at Walmart, which is planning to add the machines to some of its stores in the state.

KDKA Pittsburgh reports Walmart has preliminary approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to place the machines in seven stores.

The machines work around Pennsylvania laws that forbid booze sales at grocery stores. Oenophiles must pass breathalyzers, swipe their IDs, then show their pictures to a state official observing via closed circuit TV before buying their wine.

Vending machine wine and a value bin DVD sound like one hell of a night in. Lucky Pennsylvanians.

Vintage idea! A wine vending machine… all you have to do is swipe your driving licence, look into the CCTV camera and blow into the Breathalyser [KDKA Pittsburgh via Slashdot through Engadget]

Previously: Get Your Wine From A Vending Machine In Pennsylvania


Edit Your Comment

  1. sufreak says:

    With the exception of employee rights, what does Walmart want in on?

  2. Blueskylaw says:

    “Oenophiles must pass breathalyzers, swipe their IDs, then show their pictures to a state official observing via closed circuit TV before buying their wine.”

    Facebook approves.

  3. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    or PA could just not have byzantine liquor laws, that’s what I want. On a side note this would be the one thing I could see my self going into wally world for on a regular basis, well this and condoms

    • webweazel says:

      You want bizarre liquor laws? Look into Mississippi’s sometime.
      Some areas, it is illegal to have alcohol in your house, or drive through town with a 6 pack in your car. It will be confiscated and you’ll get a ticket.
      A few towns over, it is totally legal to drink & drive.

  4. minjche says:

    “Lucky Pennsylvanians.”

    You’ve apparently never had to purchase alcohol in PA, Phil.

    • mechteach1 says:

      Exactly. Though these things make life a little easier, I still miss just being able to buy wine with my groceries, no big strings attach. Moreover, these are only open Mon-Sat, 9-9, so still no wine with Sunday dinner, unless you plan ahead or are lucky enough to live near a rare open state store.

  5. Hoss says:

    The machine better generate a receipt, or granny at the door will try another dropkick

  6. c!tizen says:

    Now if only they could come up with place, like a Wal-Mart, but not really, that can get a license to sell all kinds of alcohol, not just wine, but liquor, beer, mixers… everything you need to make an alcoholic beverage. A store of liquor or something like that, with an actual person to show your ID to and maybe have a brief chat about good drinks and tricks to making them. Oh well, just a wild dream I guess.

  7. SteakNeggs says:

    I don’t get it, we just walk into any store and buy wine, beer, liquor, what have you. Why does PA have to be so weird??

    • captadam says:

      Because of a backward state legislature full of rural Republicans …

      • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

        So explain why that happens in the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of New Jersey, a mostly urban cesspool with only 3 suburban areas with Republican representation vs 5 of the most corrupt Democratic county machines in the nation?

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        That’s funny because I live in Louisiana, which is full of rural, backwoods Republicans, too-and I can buy liquor, wine and beer at any grocery or convenience store. Tsk, tsk. It’s not political!

      • MauriceCallidice says:

        As a rural Pennsylvania Republican who thinks beer, wine and hard liquor should be available in every grocery store, I think your stereotype is a bit off.

        There are lots of PA Democrats who favor our present, paternalistic government-owned state store system that monopolistically controls all wine and liquor sales.

        As others have noted, IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!

    • jessjj347 says:

      Can’t do it in most of NJ either.

    • minjche says:

      Because that’s how the laws were setup. PA legislature doesn’t need to be right, it just needs to have a majority.

      Here’s another fun PA liquor law: When at a restaurant that serves alcohol, in order for someone to order an alcoholic beverage at their table, given that the table has a mixed crowd (some over 21, some under 21), there needs to be at least one person at the table who is over 25.

      I’ve only seen that law enforced in college towns (especially State College).

    • catnapped says:


      (and I’m not half joking either!)

  8. backinpgh says:

    I saw one at Giant Eagle the other day. It’s pretty fancy looking. Haven’t used it yet though.

  9. rbb says:

    “Vending machine wine and a value bin DVD sound like one hell of a night in.”

    Make it a chick flick and throw in some chocolate and you have a guaranteed repeat every month…

  10. rbb says:

    “Vending machine wine and a value bin DVD sound like one hell of a night in.”

    Make it a chick flick and throw in some chocolate and you have a guaranteed repeat audience every month…

  11. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    PA has some of the stupidest blue laws ever.

    Aside from that, I am wholeheartedly behind this kind of contraption…as a guy who enjoys pretty much every kind of liquor and beer except for wine (well, I like the occasional port or ice wine), I find it highly entertaining to see the condescending wine drinkers of this world reduced to buying their alcoholic vinegar from a vending machine.

  12. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    Wait.. these machines have breathalyzers on them? How is that done in a sanitary way?

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      ewww I didn’t even think about that, maybe they have some sort of plastic covering like the kind doctors use for thermometers?

      • mechteach1 says:

        I’ve been to one at a Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh. Basically, it’s a round, mesh-covered hole in the front panel. You breath into it, but don’t put your mouth on it.

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          OOh… ok then. That helps…. a little. lol.

        • George4478 says:

          I hope they have an attendent watching. Putting an unattended, round, mesh-covered hole on anything in Walmart and you’re just asking for a disturbing 911 call.

  13. LastError says:

    Nope. Still not enough to make me want to visit PA.

    The state could pay out $100 every time you buy a bottle of wine and it still would not be a state worth visiting.

    Parking Wars is great. Best anti-PA material ever made.

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      Whoa, there big guy (or gal) Philly (PPA aside) & Pittsburg are pretty nice places with good food culture etc, the rest of the state……meh

    • ginnel says:

      Granted the Liquor Control Board in Pa is antiquated . But a whole state dismissed as being not worth visiting? Okay.

      • minjche says:

        Yeah I didn’t understand that either.

        “Whoops! North Dakota has the letter ‘K’ in its name! Can’t visit there, cause I’m from a ‘K’ hatin family!”

        The icing on the cake is using a reality TV show as the basis for an opinion of the whole state.

  14. mbz32190 says:

    Some Wegmans stores in PA also have these. From what I have seen, the machine works well. The interface is similar to an ATM, and yes, it prints a receipt and there are even bags on the side of the machine. Although this particular store also has a “Wine & Spirits” in the same center, so it’s just there out of convenience more than anything. This store also sells beer in the cafe’ through a “restaurant take-out” license.
    (Side note: this store also has another machine, CHIRP, owned by Redbox, that vends $100 purses and jewelry).

  15. Big Mama Pain says:

    Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just to buy wine-and it looks like you can’t browse?

    • Jupichan says:

      You can, sorta. The system lets you read up on whatever bottle is your desire.

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        So, you have to wait in line behind who were “browsing”? You can buy wine elsewhere, right?

        • Jupichan says:

          In the store, no. The kiosk is the ONLY place you can buy wine. Bottled, at least. Our licensed area where we sell all kinds of beer DOES sell wine by the glass, but the selection is extremely limited in comparison to what’s in the kiosk.

          If you wish to buy wine elsewhere, my store apparently sells non-alcoholic wine of some sort up front. But honestly, I’d much sooner go to a state store. While I think the kiosks are indeed a step forward in PA’s alcohol laws, I flat out refuse to submit to a breathalyser test just to purchase a bottle of wine.

  16. Jupichan says:

    I work in a store that has one of these. Never bought anything from it, but the sounds constantly coming from it are downright irritating. All I can hear when I’m trying to serve/cook for customers is “We are required to perform a test to measure your Breath Alcohol Concentration. Please take your bottles. PLEASE TAKE YOUR BOTTLES. Please close door. PLEASE CLOSE DOOR.”

    And heaven help me/my coworkers whenever the kiosk is down for whatever reason. I was working on Thanksgiving, and since the state stores were shut down, so was the kiosk. We had people absolutely flipping their lids because they couldn’t get their wine.

    Then there’s the people that show up to the kiosk after having one or two drinks. The machine will NOT let them purchase wine. I’ve seen it fail someone after using mouthwash. The limit is set really, REALLY low, methinks. Even better when someone shows up and they don’t have their license. I’ve actually had people demand that I give them MY license so they could purchase wine. Never mind that the machine is watched by CCTV, I’d certainly lose my job, and it’s all sorts of illegal.

    I sure hope it’s bringing business to the store, ’cause it’s all kinds of annoying to me and many of my coworkers. But hey, more business, more hours, and hopefully fewer days that we’re sickeningly short-staffed, despite being an INCREDIBLY busy department.

  17. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    So now I’m picturing People of Walmart + blowing breath into a hole in a machine + toting wine out in a plastic jug.

    Oh. My. Gosh.

    Yet another proud moment for my Commonwealth.

  18. varro says:

    If you’re from Pittsburgh, West Virginia is close enough to avoid these monstrosities.

    Walmart* + LCB = FAIL.

  19. pittstonjoma says:

    If they do do this, one might be in the Wal-mart down the road from me. :)