California Legislature Passes Liquor Sampling Bill

August 30, 2010 08:00 PM

Bill Moves to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s Desk for Signature

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Legislature passed a bill allowing consumers to sample liquor at distilled spirits outlets, according to the Distilled Spirits Council which applauded the legislation and called California tastings the latest in a trend of states modernizing liquor laws across the country.
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“In today’s economy customers want to know what a particular Single Malt Scotch or Bourbon tastes like before spending $40-$50 on a bottle,” said Council Vice President Adam Smith – noting that California joins neighboring states Arizona, Nevada and Oregon in allowing tasting events at restaurants, bars and now distilled spirits outlets.  “Tasting events are a long-standing and responsible means by which customers can make better informed buying decisions in a tightly controlled setting.  Tools like tasting events allow small business owners to better serve their customers – and that’s more important now than ever.”

Assembly Bill 605, sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, gives adult consumers the opportunity to sample up to three separate one-quarter ounce samples of spirits in any one calendar day at a pre-planned, controlled tasting event. The bill passed the full Assembly Friday by a vote of 61-8 having already passed the Senate by a count of 27-6. The bill now moves to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk for signature and, once signed, will take effect January 1.

“Nationwide, states are updating alcohol laws to improve business operations and give customers added convenience at a time when it's all very much-needed,” Smith added.  “Spirits consumers are fascinated by cocktail culture and curious about how to discern between the 5,000 spirits products on the market."

Forty-three states currently allow some form of spirits tasting. California becomes the 32nd state to allow spirits tastings at off-premise establishments such as liquor stores and other distilled spirits outlets.

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