This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Pennsylvania officials have recently confiscated 2,447 bottles of rare, fine, and very expensive wines from a man who was operating an illegal wine trade out of his home. In Pennsylvania, the liquor business is a state-run monopoly—no other entity, including this one man, can sell booze. According to Bloomberg News, the collection included some of the most desired vintages in America, and even "one of the most sought-after Pinot Noirs made in California."

Bloomberg reports that Pennsylvania is planning to destroy the wine, which—we can all agree—would be a tragedy. But there's another way. Pennsylvania has a quirk in the law for disposing of confiscated wines. Give the wine to hospitals.

Yup. Here's the exact text from the the state's liquor code:

§ 9.47. Confiscated liquor for hospitals.

Hospitals desirous of obtaining confiscated liquor offered by Federal authorities or granted to them by the courts of the Commonwealth shall make written application to the Board for permission to import the liquor if located outside of this Commonwealth.

Thanks to the 10th Amendment, each state has the right to craft its own liquor code. And the result is an oftentimes amusing patchwork of alcohol laws and regulation across the nation. It's why you can get only 1.5 ounces of liquid courage in your tequila sunrise in Utah, and it's why sellers in Oklahoma can't sell refrigerated beer that contains more than 4 percent alcohol. And in Pennsylvania, it's why hospitals can apply to receive confiscated liquor. 

So now is your chance, fine hospitals of Pennsylvania. That "most sought-after" Noir can be on the shelf for your staff Christmas party. Petition away!

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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