COUNTY OPTION KITCHEN AND TABLE WINE ACT
23-1325C. Wine sample tasting requirements and limitations for events on retail wine license premises. (1) Vintners, wineries and distributors may conduct or assist a retail wine licensee at a wine sample tasting on premises not licensed for the sale of wine by the individual glass or opened bottle for consumption on the premises or on the premises of the holder of a wine by the drink license for the purpose of promoting their wine products to the public. The holder of a retail wine license or a wine by the drink license may also conduct wine sample tasting events, with or without the assistance of a vintner, winery or distributor in accordance with this section.
(2) A retail wine licensee shall not be required to hold a wine by the drink license for the purpose of conducting or permitting wine sample tasting events on the premises in accordance with this section unless a charge or other consideration is required of the customer by the retailer in exchange for such wine sample.
(3) Sample tasting events permitted pursuant to this section shall be conducted subject to all of the following requirements:
(a) Sample sizes. The size of each sample of wine shall not exceed one and one-half (1 1/2) ounces.
(b) Identified tasting area. The retail wine licensee who conducts tastings or who allows a vintner, winery or distributor to conduct tastings on the retail wine premises shall identify a specific tasting area or areas. Such area or areas shall be of a size and design such that the retail wine licensee and the persons conducting the tasting can observe and control persons in the area to ensure that no minors or visibly intoxicated persons possess or consume alcohol. Customers must remain in the tasting area or areas until they have finished consuming the sample. The retailer shall keep on file at the premises a floor plan identifying the tasting area or areas. If a retailer does not have an identified tasting area or areas, the director may require prior approval of an area or areas before the retailer conducts any more tastings or allows any more tastings to be conducted by the vintner, winery or distributor on the premises.
(c) Number of in-store tastings. Although there is no limit on the number of tastings a retailer may conduct without the assistance of a vintner, winery or distributor, the retailer shall not permit a vintner, winery or distributor to conduct, or assist in conducting, tastings on the premises of the same licensee more than eight (8) times per calendar year.
(d) Vintner, winery or distributor conducted tastings. A vintner, winery or distributor may hold tastings on consecutive days on one (1) retail premises, provided the tastings shall not exceed two (2) consecutive days. Tastings shall be conducted at least four (4) weeks apart. If a vintner, winery or distributor holds tastings on two (2) consecutive days, they shall not hold another tasting on those retail premises for at least four (4) weeks.
(e) Server requirements. Persons serving or pouring wine at wine tastings on premises for which a wine by the drink license has not been issued must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age.
(4) Vintner, winery or distributor conducted sample tastings. A vintner, winery or distributor may conduct wine sample tastings on premises licensed for the sale of wine for products produced or sold by the vintner, winery or distributor. The vintner, winery or distributor conducting the wine sample tasting shall, in addition to compliance with other requirements of this section, comply with all of the following requirements:
(a) Provide the product to be tasted, and remove any remaining product at the end of the tasting.
(b) Provide or pay for a person to serve the wine. The server must be an employee or agent of the vintner, winery or distributor and shall not be an employee or agent of a retailer. The vintner, winery or distributor shall not compensate any employee or agent of the retail licensee to participate in the tasting.
(c) The vintner, winery or distributor shall keep a record of each tasting it conducts, including the date and location of each event and the products served.
(5) Retailer conducted wine sample tastings. Retail wine licensees and wine by the drink licensees may conduct wine sample tastings on their licensed premises and may:
(a) Accept assistance from a vintner, winery or distributor if:
(i) The only assistance provided is an employee to provide information or education relating to the product being sampled;
(ii) The retailer pays for the wine; and
(iii) The retailer is responsible for any advertising.
(b) Conduct an unlimited number of wine sample tastings on the premises if there is no vintner, winery or distributor providing assistance for the event. The retailer may advertise such events.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, participation by a vintner, winery or distributor in a wine sample tasting event, if expressly authorized by this section, shall not constitute prohibited conduct or unlawful aid to a retailer.
[23-1325C, added 2004, ch. 267, sec. 1, p. 749.]