A shot in the dark: According to the announcement stuffed into the mailing envelope, "Mexico's Legendary Secret Hits the U.S." in the form of Don Julio tequila. But the big secret may be how the importer, Remy Amerique, Inc., got a liquor sample through the U.S. Postal Service, which delivered a small bottle of Don Julio to our door. Although private delivery companies--the Federal Expresses and such that service your wine- and beer-of-the-month outfits--are allowed to ship liquor across state lines, the Postal Service is not.
"It's a fuzzy thing," says Don Julio spokesman Dan Cohen, who's apparently been sampling his product a little too much.
Actually, USPS rules are very clear: Alcohol is non-mailable because of an IRS law about taxation across state lines. In fact, any alcohol found in the U.S. mail is supposed to be confiscated and destroyed. (Fortunately, they missed our Don Julio.) It's perfectly fine with the Postal Service, however, if you ship live poultry (mailed when the bird is not more than a day old) and small, cold-blooded creatures such as bees--as long as they do not create sanitary problems.
Thad Z. Zwierowski, a community-relations specialist with the post office, learned the above arcane facts while researching postal regulations, a project that resulted in his article "Maelstrom of the Mailstream" for the December 1996 Mail Hi City News. When he was working as a postal carrier, Zwierowski confesses, he once delivered a coconut with an address written on it. All perfectly legal--unless there was a pina colada lurking inside.
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You've been warned.
Eat, drink and be merry: On August 1, which just happens to be Colorado Day, Beach Cities Brewing--which got its start as a division of Littleton's Alpine Brewing Company in 1994--introduces three special brews: Hefeweizen, Strawberry Blonde Ale and Sunset Red Ale. Sadly, although their origins are in Colorado, the beers are brewed in Southern California; you can sample them here at October's Great American Beer Festival.
In honor of Colorado's natal day, the aptly named 1876 Restaurant, at the Hyatt Regency Denver (1750 Welton Street), is joining with Mountain Living Magazine and Colorado's own Plum Creek Cellars in a celebratory winemaker dinner August 1. The food may not focus too heavily on Colorado, but the accompanying wines are enough to get you Rocky Mountain high. For starters, there's cucumber-and-crab sushi, as well as poached baby scallops, accompanied by a 1996 sauvignon blanc; the meal floats on through lobster ravioli (fueled by a 1995 Redstone Reserve) and roast elk medallions (1994 Redstone Reserve cabernet sauvignon) before finally landing with a raspberry-and-chocolate polenta, anchored by a 1996 Riesling. Tickets are $45 per person; call 296-1876.
On a less lofty note, Wazoos, at 1819 Wazee Street, marks August 1 by kicking off its "Size Does Matter" campaign, which emphasizes just how huge the place is. For proof, Wazoos promises an "ice slide"--liquor shots that drop six feet--as well as a half-yard "Wazowie" blended of vodka and "succulent" juices. "Height, length, girth, diameter--size does matter," says general manager Matt Fleming.
And so does the size of the hangover. Happy birthday, Colorado.