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Robin Garr

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NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:10 pm

I've heard about NY State having some wacky liquor laws, but this case reeks not only of foolish laws but punitive enforcement.

Liquor Store fined $10,000 for selling wine gift bags
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TomHill

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GoodGrief, Robin....

by TomHill » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:22 pm

In NewYorkState, wine gift bags are only allowed to be sold by specially licensed, by the State, wine gift bag shops. If they allowed every Tom, Dick, & Harry shop to sell wine gift bags...think of all the small Mom&Pop wine gift bags shops that would be driven out of business. :-)
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Redwinger » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:24 pm

It's to protect the children. :wink:
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Sam Platt

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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Sam Platt » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:54 pm

When wine gift bag sales becomes a crime, only criminals will sell wine gift bags.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Daniel Rogov » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:12 pm

That, as my daughter would put it, is "outright outrageous". Of course she would not say "outright", it would be a bit more harsh. Whatever, that is ridiculous!!!!!!!!
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Hoke » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:08 pm

Outrageous? Ridiculous? Stupid?

Yep, all of the above.

What it isn't? Unusual.

That has always been the law in New York. There are ridiculous laws everywhere, though.

In Arkansas, when I worked there, a retail beverage store could not sell glassware or, technically, corkscrews and such stuff.

In Texas, if you weren't a resident of the state, you could not get a license to open a store.

Until just recently, in North Carolina retail you could buy 750ml and 1.75ml bottles of spirits----but in a bar or club, if you order a mixed drink or cocktail, it had to be served from a 50ml miniature bottle! (I am not making this stuff up.)

In many states that allow independent retailers of alcohol beverage, they limit store licenses to one per person, or one per family, or three per family.

Some states have blue laws, with varying shades of interpretation of what can be sold and when. Some states have county-by-county wet/dry laws. Some have district-by-district. Many (most?) have such punitive tax codes---the sin tax--- that if you applied them to anything non-alcoholic, the public would rise up in furious protest.

All vestiges of the deal that Roosevelt had to make with the states to get them to repeal prohibition. And we're still living with them.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Dale Williams » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:52 pm

Hoke wrote:Until just recently, in North Carolina retail you could buy 750ml and 1.75ml bottles of spirits----but in a bar or club, if you order a mixed drink or cocktail, it had to be served from a 50ml miniature bottle! (I am not making this stuff up.)
.


Good rant, but actually wrong Carolina.

There's a followup story that indicates that the fine won't be anywhere close to $10K
Still stupid (most stores in NY sell these bags, some even have on websites)
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Hoke » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:54 am

Yeah, I get them confused.

I always divide everything up the real way: it's either Tidewater or Hill Country. :D
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Matt Richman

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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Matt Richman » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:11 am

I once heard that there was a county in Texas where it was not legal for a driver to be holding an open container of alcohol, although the passenger could be holding two. Now that's thinking.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Shlomo R » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:21 am

I find it rather odd that in New York State, you cannot sell beer in the same store as wine and liquor. Beer gets sold by stores selling soda. Anyone care to propose a theory on the logic behind that?
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Matilda L » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:32 am

fined $10,000 for selling wine gift bags


WTF?

I suppose I could see the logic in a stationery store not selling wine ... but .... ?

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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Neil Courtney » Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:39 am

Crazy stuff!

But then in NZ supermarkets can sell wine and beer but not spirits, even though the liquor store right next to the supermarket's front door can sell beer, wine and/or spirits. Both can sell wine gift bags if they so choose.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by ChefJCarey » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:47 am

Shlomo R wrote:I find it rather odd that in New York State, you cannot sell beer in the same store as wine and liquor. Beer gets sold by stores selling soda. Anyone care to propose a theory on the logic behind that?


Perhaps they copied Tennessee.
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Robin Garr

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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Robin Garr » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:11 pm

Shlomo R wrote:I find it rather odd that in New York State, you cannot sell beer in the same store as wine and liquor. Beer gets sold by stores selling soda. Anyone care to propose a theory on the logic behind that?

This is true in many states, and it has little to do with public policy. The beer distributors have a monopoly and pay well to keep it that way; the argument, I guess, is that beer is lower in alcohol and thus can be safely sold in places less controlled than liquor stores.

(Interestingly, in Kentucky one can buy beer but not wine or liquor at a grocery store, but liquor may be sold at pharmacies.) Grocers can also work around this law, at some expense, by building a wine shop in the same building but with a separate entrance so you have to go out of the grocery and go back in to the wine shop. Go figure.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Bill Spohn » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:12 pm

Shlomo R wrote: Beer gets sold by stores selling soda. Anyone care to propose a theory on the logic behind that?



Uh...anything fizzy goes?

Glad to see Canada is not alone in having decidedly odd liquor laws.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Mark S » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:18 pm

Typical. New York State gets you coming and going. Because of this Rochester store being fined, a Syracuse store was proactive and took those items out of their store proactively just days before Christmas. Apparently, this law was always on the books, but it's up to the enforecement authorities how much they wan't to pursue it.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Dale Williams » Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:25 pm

As noted, the fine won't be $10K:
http://tinyurl.com/8onbwe
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Mike B. » Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:00 pm

If headshops can get around paraphenalia laws by claiming their pipes are for tobacco only, perhaps this store can claim the bags are for soda or de-alcoholized wine. ;)

Here in the supposedly free-market driven Alberta, my favourite wine store has just been informed they can no longer carry Coppola's Sofia blanc de blanc in cans because the 187 mL size is an odd number. For some reason, odd numbers for wine are verboten for retailers, but allowed in a restaurant or bar.

And to point out the inconsistency in the rules, a bottle of beer is 341mL.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Neil Courtney » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:10 am

Mike B. wrote:Here in the supposedly free-market driven Alberta, my favourite wine store has just been informed they can no longer carry Coppola's Sofia blanc de blanc in cans because the 187 mL size is an odd number. For some reason, odd numbers for wine are verboten for retailers, but allowed in a restaurant or bar.

And to point out the inconsistency in the rules, a bottle of beer is 341mL.


Arrgghh, my head hurts! Who in their right mind would MAKE laws like this? :roll:
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Peter May » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:08 am

Mike B. wrote:they can no longer carry Coppola's Sofia blanc de blanc in cans because the 187 mL size is an odd number. For some reason, odd numbers for wine are verboten for retailers, but allowed in a restaurant or bar.


Arithmetic is not my strong point, but isn't 75cl an odd number? And if they use ml instead of cl, then what about half bottles of 375ml?
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Gail Reynolds » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:46 am

I know we have some STUPID laws on the books here in Okla, but this one really tops all of them for stupid. And to not even give the guy a warning before slapping him with such a fine is as stupid as the law.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Mike B. » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:34 pm

Peter May wrote:Arithmetic is not my strong point, but isn't 75cl an odd number? And if they use ml instead of cl, then what about half bottles of 375ml?


Hmmm, good point. Maybe I misunderstood the meaning of odd. Perhaps my friend meant unusual. Still, it's a ridiculous law.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by David M. Bueker » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:38 pm

I think some states have specifically allowed sizes.
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Re: NY State wine shop fined $10K for selling wine gift bags

by Dale Williams » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:21 pm

I'm sure odd means "not standardly defined." Generally in US that means 187ml, 375, 750, 1L, 1.5, 3. etc I've heard tale of Jura wines having problems getting approved/imported because they were 620ml, etc. Though I just bought a Gaillac that is 730ml.

This is getting some publicity, so my guess is they will add gift bags to the list of permitted wine accessories that can be sold in licensed retailers (along with stemware, corkscrews, wine books, etc). In NY retailers are not allowed to sell anythng else (no lotto, cigarettes, food, etc).

The title maybe should be edited, as it's clear that there has been no $10K fine.
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