AUGUSTA, ME – Governor John Baldacci today signed legislation allowing Maine consumers the opportunity to sample distilled spirits products at tasting events held at liquor stores, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.  The new law takes effect August 17, 2009.

“Spirits tastings are terrific opportunities to allow consumers a more informed purchasing decision,” said Council Vice President David Wojnar, noting that 43 states currently allow some form of spirits tasting – including every other state in New England.  “Consumer tastings events are a widely-accepted means to let customers ‘try before they buy.’  Maine is one of a growing list of states modernizing their liquor laws to bring adult consumers more choices and greater convenience.”

LD 498, sponsored by Representative John Tuttle, authorizes an agency liquor store to conduct tastings of distilled spirits on that licensee’s premises. There is a limit of 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits per person and an agency store may conduct up to 12 controlled, pre-planned tasting events per year.

“Adult consumers are fascinated by the cocktail culture, but curious about how to discern between the thousands of spirits products on the market,” said Wojnar.  “Like fine wines, adult consumers would like to try these fine spirits before making their selection.”