First up in this virtuous summer, Alabama banned an 1895 reproduction of a bicycling nude nymph on a wine label. Now, Maine will prohibit children from “observing” wine tastings as of September 12.
An amendment to a new law included this language: “Taste-testing activities must be conducted in a manner that precludes the possibility of observation by children.” But if they close their eyes, is it permissible to hear slurping and spitting?
The law penalizes small wine store owners as well as customers with families. One shop owner says in a story in the Kennebec Journal (via Fermentation) that she will have to install draperies to be in compliance so that no children passers-by on the street would be able to see in-store tastings happening.
The story elaborates that the author of the amendment claims it was a mistake: “There was supposed to be an exemption for small retail stores. (The negotiations) were quick with several people weighing in on how it was to be and a drafting error was made. We wound up with language that inadvertently scooped the wine shops. We’re working as fast as we can to fix that.” But the legislature doesn’t reconvene until January.
Other highlights in the state’s history of alcohol regulation:
1849: Maine enacts a law that ”punishes by imprisonment any person not licensed who should sell during any cattle show or fair any intoxicating drink.”
1851: After a long fight, led by Portland’s Mayor, Neal Dow, Maine becomes the first state to outlaw the sale of all alcoholic beverages, except for ”medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes.”
1973: NOW achieves the end of sex discrimination in taverns