Wash. Liquor Board to Roll Out Pilot for Supermarket Tastings

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Wash. Liquor Board to Roll Out Pilot for Supermarket Tastings

As part of a yearlong pilot program introduced by the state liquor control board, 30 grocery stores in Washington State will reportedly hold wine and beer tastings beginning Oct. 1.

Among the stores reportedly slated to participate in the pilot are seven Safeway units, five Kroger-owned Fred Meyer and QFC stores, two Haggen and Top Food & Drug stores, and one Albertsons, although the chains haven't selected the exact locations yet.

The rest of the stores are independents, according to the Seattle Times. A tentative list provided by the liquor board to the newspaper included Dave's Market Place in Tenino, the West Seattle Thriftway in Seattle, Stadium Thriftway in Tacoma, Metropolitan Market locations in Federal Way and Tacoma, Denny's Harvest Foods in Medical Lake, and Rosauer's Super Market in Spokane.

State lawmakers requested the pilot during the 2008 legislative session, and the board will submit a report in December 2009 detailing public complaints and comments.

Each store must offer a minimum of six tastings during the pilot, and may hold only one tasting a month. Beer and wine samples must be two ounces or under, and a customer can imbibe up to four ounces, the newspaper reported, adding that store employees have to be able to see participants to ensure that minors and intoxicated people don't take part.

Liquor enforcement officers will go to each store's inaugural tasting, the board said, with announced and unannounced visits taking place throughout the pilot.