PA Chairman's Selections
I do pick up a chairman's selection every so often, and they are good and well priced, but as others have said I find the selection dreadfully lacking. I go to Moore brothers in NJ for some variety, and I've also been buying online for my cellar (well, just a shelf in my basement)
It's my experience that the chairman gets great stuff but you're right about selection. Working within the confines of a state run system, you can't really have an open market with wine stores of varying quality and with some offering many kinds quality wines at great prices. I think of it more as a small but representative amount of wines and deals on wines, which again, given the confines, is the best we can hope for.
I don't think I'm phrasing that well. What I mean to say is that you can probably find a great deal on one really great Australian Shiraz or California Merlot, but you're never going to find TWO great deals at any time on a single kind of wine. It's as if the entire state system is like the wine list to one restaurant; they avoid redundancies.
I'd also maybe post a heads up to this thread on the Pennsylvania board, as I think people will have thoughts.
I work in the liquor business (not in PA) but was recently talking to a group of PA Liquor Board folks and the subject of your Chairman's Selections came up. All I can say is that you are lucky you have such an enthusiast as Chairman, because those are very good deals. The downside is that the overall selection offered in PA didn't seem all that great, though I stand to be corrected on that score.