Tasting Room Rant – Inebriation

I felt that this subject deserved it’s own post;  I won’t let my opinion on governmental capitalism within the alcohol industry be the subject within the post’s content – I just touched on that… instead I will stick to the promised topic: tasting room rants And with the big holiday weekend coming up, perhaps this is a good time to enlighten and hopefully save a life or two.  🙂 Enjoy. -A

Anger solves nothing… remember that.  So, don’t get mad if you get cut off or denied for not having proper ID.  Legally, tasting rooms cannot serve alcohol to suspected drunk individuals or minors.  It’s the law.  And since, I like to educate everyone about the law – let me tell you what happens should I break the law and pour wine for said inebriated individuals or kids: winery get’s shut down for (minimally) 3 days (loss of revenue), 10k fine imposed (1t offense), I get personal fine, felony and jail time. FYI – felons can’t vote… so, I won’t be pouring for you if you are drunk, capice?

And being drunk, loud and obnoxious in a tasting room, is NOT cool.  We frown upon this, heavily. We don’t by any means expect you to drink all of the wine that you taste; if you did, you might not be able to walk straight when leaving the winery, let alone drive!  Throughout any given wine tasting, if you consume all the wine that is poured, it is the same as drinking one to two glasses of wine.  That is PER TASTING ROOM.  YOU DO THE MATH.  We encourage tasters to use the spittoon and to dump the wines that they don’t want to finish in the spittoon.

DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF FROM WINERY TO WINERY.  If you are going to do this, then you better be spitting every time!  I actually had a customer recently confess to me that he had been out wine tasting recently, and drove himself around to six different tasting rooms in Paso… said that he didn’t remember leaving the last tasting room and driving to his hotel.  I was shocked that he didn’t have his tail tucked between his legs and disgusted that he could share such a story with me, without a hint of remorse.

Another time, I poured wine for a customer – when he came in he was fine – when he left he was not.  When he left, he was clearly drunk.  Before he left I asked him to walk to the restaurant down the way to get a meal.  HE tried to reason with me, tried to tell me that he was fine (as usually drunk people do), and I tried to reason back with him that he was not.  It came down to me threatening to call the police if he got in his car; so he ate at the restaurant.

Once more story – I gave someone fair warning after he announced that he would be driving.  I limited his tasting to a few wines and encouraged him not to visit any other tasting rooms.  He did not heed my advice and the next day he called to tell me that I “got what I wished for” as he got a DUI.  This, I assure you, is not the case… BUT tasters need to accept responsibility when they are out and about going from tasting room to tasting room – THEN DRIVING HOME.

Tasting room employees cannot accept responsibility for drivers actions… yet we are held accountable when it all goes down.  Courts have tried and convicted employees when accidents occur, and when people die.  Oh yes, people do die.  Please consider this the next time YOU go wine tasting and taste responsibly.

Thanks for reading.  I’d love to hear your opinion; share your story on the subject if you have one…



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