An Alexandria tapas bar was cited for serving sangria—which violates a 1934 Virginia law against mixing wine with spirits, with penalties of up to a year in jail. Virginia Spanish restaurants, so warned, now only serve a bowdlerized version of the drink, to the dismay of customers who can get the real thing a few miles away in DC or Maryland. The legislature is contemplating a change, though a pending bill would fail to exempt the similarly illegal kir royals or boilermakers. (Anita Kumar, “Virginia’s Sangria Ban At Issue in 2 Hearings”, Washington Post, Jan. 24). (According to Instruction 33 on this bulletin, Virginia also appears to ban the pitcher of margaritas the local Mexican restaurant serves.) Left unspoken: when is someone going to bring a consumer class action against the Spanish restaurants serving faux sangrias without warning customers?
(ObJingoism: At least Virginia still has better Thai, Indian, and Vietnamese food than DC or Maryland.)