WASHINGTON, Sept. 6, 2001 – Legislation backed by the Distilled Spirits Council permitting distilled spirits tastings in New York liquor stores passed yesterday, according to Council President Peter H. Cressy, who called the legislation, “the beginning of a stylish new era of sophisticated spirits tastings in New York.”

“The growing national trend for public tastings of premium spirits products just got a huge Big Apple boost,” said Cressy.

Under the new law, New York adult consumers now will have the opportunity to try up to three samples of distilled spirits at preplanned tastings events. The legislation limits the amount of distilled spirits per sample to no more than one-quarter ounce.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for New York consumers to sample premium spirits brands in the familiar environment of their local retail outlet,” Cressy said. “How often have you walked into your local liquor store and thought ‘That looks good, I wonder what it tastes like?,’ but have been reluctant to purchase the product without knowing. This solves that problem and allows New York to play a major role in this growing national trend.”

A majority of states permit some form of distilled spirits tastings at on-premise establishments such as bars and restaurants or in retail stores that sell spirits for off-premise consumption. For years, vintners have been permitted to conduct tastings of their wine products at retail stores within the State.

“Product tastings are a critical marketing tool for the spirits industry and an important legislative goal for the Council,” said Cressy. “With more than 4,000 brands of distilled spirits on the market in the United States, tastings are an effective way to encourage responsible adult consumers to try new spirits products as well as existing brands that may be new to these consumers.