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Buying Rice Wine Legally

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Q. I would like to buy some rice wine, but don't know where to get it in my area, which is Allentown, Penn. Can you help me?

A. You can get many, many ethnic foods with the help of the Internet, but wines and other alcoholic beverages run up against a variety of state and national laws. In your state, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is responsible for the distribution of all alcohol and has hundreds of Wine & Spirits Shoppes throughout the state, as well as 39 Wine & Spirits Superstores (one of which is conveniently located in Allentown).

The control board's online product catalog lists Japanese sake as its only rice wine, but it has nearly a dozen brands and sizes in stock, and can order dozens more. The site also states that the control board can order nearly any wine or alcoholic beverage that is commercially available, and has a directory of more than 11,000 products from which to choose. So perhaps they can also supply you with Japanese mirin or any of the Chinese or other Asian rice wines that are produced.

Allentown has at least its share of state liquor stores, oops, we mean Wine & Spirits Shoppes, including the superstore.

If you have questions about any alcoholic beverage available in Pennsylvania, call the Wine & Spirits Hotline at 1-800-332-7588 or contact their representatives by email.

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