OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington lawmakers have approved a pilot program that will allow beer and wine tasting in 30 grocery stores statewide in an effort to market local products.
The measure now heads to the governor, after passing the Senate 29-17 on Monday. It earlier passed the House.
I'd love something like that. I've been feeling a need for variety lately, but I'm too cheap to buy a six-pack of something I'll end up giving away five bottles, and I haven't had time/weather to go driving around the state looking for beer (as I recall, beer samples came up in the WI Legislature about a year ago and went nowhere...).
The one-year program, strongly supported by the state's microbrewery and wine industries, allows shoppers to sample as much as 4 ounces of beer or wine. Supporters say it allows small wineries or breweries with no marketing budget to get their products out to the public.
But opponents contend the program sets a bad example by exposing children to alcohol consumption.
First off, no offense to the parents who read this, but the existance of your children gives you zero right to limit what I as an adult can do, read, view, or buy. I'm not even going to apologize for holding that view; "everyone has to be regulated so I don't have to raise my own children!" has annoyed me since Dan Coats and the Internet Decency Act. Tell your kid only degenerate slobs drink an ounce of pale ale at the grocery store, if that's what you believe, but don't try to stop anyone else from having a life or a livelihood. ("Alcohol consumption"?? We're not talking about swilling down a case of Natural Light with the intention of getting wasted here, which some kids are forced to witness already and which won't be stopped by a veto here...)
Second, bad example? Tasting in a store that sells the products is a bad example?? May as well cut off the sales altogether, because the adults that taste may take a bottle home. *gasp* The adults who aren't allowed to taste may also take a bottle home. *gasp* But cutting off sales violates my First off. So...
Frankly, I can't think of a much better example of "alcohol is a boring adult activity" than wine tasting. The sheer tedium of the winery at the Amana Colonies when I was 8 or 10 burned itself into my consciousness so deeply I've hardly touched wine since.
Meanwhile children are "exposed to alcohol consumption" every damn day if their parents own a TV, and if they don't, they're going to be exposed to it when they hit jr. high, and by freshman year they're going to have classmates swilling cheap spirits in the parking lot in the mornings. Isn't it better to see that "alcohol consumption" is a boring grown-up thing (or a fascinating journey through flavors and bouquets...for boring grown-ups) than a pre-requisite for fun?
Of course, since I have no spawn, my opinion on everything is null and void. *sniff* Which is also insane, but for another post.
(My grandpa used to let me sip the foam off the top of his PBR can when I was a toddler, and I turned out just---er, nevermind. Not really relevant, since the grocery stores would only be giving samples to adults.)