serving wine

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 We don't have a liquor license, but I'm wondering about rules regarding serving wine to guests.

 If we don't sell it, but we are drinking a glass of wine and invite our guests to join us and have a glass with us, is that ok? OR, if I place a bottle of wine in their room for a special occasion,(no charge) is that ok?  

 

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We could not do either here.  Tried to host a business function and serve wine donated by a local winery - nope, against the law.  Need a state permit and a city permit and a county permit and a person with a pouring license to serve, etc.  smh

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I would not serve the wine or any liquor to my guests- if they have to much, I may be liable for their injury. It is hard to get here B&B insurance as it is. If I wanted to serve the alcohol they most likely would double my rates- we already $5K

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I would need a license. I thought about it briefly once. Nah! Not worth it.

I used to give all guests  WV made goblets and splits of WV cider. We have a friend who is AA and I was not about to embarrass anyone nor enable either. Then the goblet maker closed. So now it is only weddings and anniversaries or celebrations (we found our house!) that get cider & goblets.

If guests do BYOB, I provide wine glasses.

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Gee, why are so many people so uptight about alcohol? Neighbours actually complaining? Wow.

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Jon Sable wrote:

Gee, why are so many people so uptight about alcohol? Neighbours actually complaining? Wow.

Here because this is where Prohibition started in the states. Some people still haven't gotten over it.

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Generic's picture
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Made lots of rich people over here Smiling

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Jon Sable wrote:

Gee, why are so many people so uptight about alcohol? Neighbours actually complaining? Wow.

I am on both sides of the fence on this one. No, not strattling it.

Both my parents are alcoholics. and there are worse stories than that, not for this time and place. Not everyone can have a simple glass of wine. 

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Oh, I more than realize that, but I don't see how calling the cops because someone else is giving away a bottle of wine is going to really solve the problem at all. 

Maybe you should do what we do, tax it to hell. It's so expensive people can go bankrupt trying to get drunk. Just to give you an idea, the cheapest 40 oz of vodka is just under $30 around here.. and a bottle of the French stuff in that size will set you back $70. A the cheapest plonk of red will be over $7. And from France, just under $10. Even stuff from your side of the border is just under $10 a bottle for the cheap stuff.

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in the UK a cheap can of beer is 50 cents and cheap vodca is about $8 - and thats if its not home made by lithuanians in a wheelie bin (im not joking)

 

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Cheap beer is about double that price here and it's really the bad stuff. The ads call it "drinkable"

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Joey Camb wrote:

in the UK a cheap can of beer is 50 cents and cheap vodca is about $8 - and thats if its not home made by lithuanians in a wheelie bin (im not joking)

 

We call them hillbillies you call them lithuanians in a wheelie bin...homemade hooch still the same. cool

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Most people don't call the cops because someone is giving away booze. They call for the same reason people call and complain about airbnb. 

If I had to jump thru hoops to get licensed or I can't give it away then neither can the other guy.

Neighbors who started a cooking class got ratted out because someone else had already been told they couldn't do the same thing.

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Jon Sable wrote:

Gee, why are so many people so uptight about alcohol? Neighbours actually complaining? Wow.

 

I know, right?  Remember the old days when drinking was fun?   Check out any old Frank Sinatra movie and see how people used to just drink.  

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I have the same problem here in Ohio. Since my B&B is located near a popular hike/bike trail, I was going to promote a fully stocked hiking/picnic backpack with wine and cheese, etc. as a special package for a certain price. Locals saw it on my website and I was sternly told, "You Cannot Sell Wine!" Now I sell the backpack with "a beverage" and the guests will have to provide their own wine if that is what they want. I cannot even put a bottle of champagne in the rooms for romantic weekends. Only sparkling cider.

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Sunshine wrote:

 We don't have a liquor license, but I'm wondering about rules regarding serving wine to guests.

 If we don't sell it, but we are drinking a glass of wine and invite our guests to join us and have a glass with us, is that ok? OR, if I place a bottle of wine in their room for a special occasion,(no charge) is that ok?  

 

May I spell it out Sunns...this is what will happen. They will be blown away and think you are the greatest ever, which we already know to be true, and then go to Trip Advisor and tell everyone all about it!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

...and then go to Trip Advisor and tell everyone all about it!

Yes, I thought of that too. Slippery slope because you'd have to add "don't tell anybody" to avoid it being mentioned in a review, and then you're admitting to knowing you're doing wrong, which could come back to burn you.

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Arks wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

...and then go to Trip Advisor and tell everyone all about it!

Yes, I thought of that too. Slippery slope because you'd have to add "don't tell anybody" to avoid it being mentioned in a review, and then you're admitting to knowing you're doing wrong, which could come back to burn you.

What would happen is they would think that was cute and make a comment about that too! Sad

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States differ.   We go by the logic (I know, logic isn't the same as regulation), if we don't give it to everyone, then it isn't included in the price of the room, therefore, on the ocassional time we give wine away, we are sharing, not selling.

But I haven't specifically asked my state alcohol board.

Saturday, a man looked longingly at my hubby's martini.   Hubby offered him one.   He enjoyed it on the lawn while his wife enjoyed a cup of tea.   No selling involved.   Sharing only.

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See what your insurance company says

Madeleine's picture
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Your sharing is the government's distribution. Be careful.

Arks's picture
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Hmmm. I wonder what the rule is if previous guests buy a bottle of wine, don't open it, and leave it in the room. Can it be left there for the next guests to enjoy?

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Arks wrote:

Hmmm. I wonder what the rule is if previous guests buy a bottle of wine, don't open it, and leave it in the room. Can it be left there for the next guests to enjoy?

Yeah add lying to the feds to the list of offenses. haha

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Don't do anything until you check with your ABC License folks. In VA we cannot give wine to anyone unless the B & B has the license. And..aside from that..our insurance specifically told us we could NOT give wine to guests. If they wanted to bring it in  that was fine but nothing from us.

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Ask the ABC and the ATF for their answer.

My exact words yesterday "Sorry it was not a champagne toast, we can only legally serve moonshine here" joking.  

Arks's picture
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Arkansas' rules are much like Maddie's. You can't even give it away, if you charge them for the room. It's considered that the money for the room includes the wine, and you can only make that "sale" if you have a license.

It's all about taxes. If you give it away, the state gets no tax on a sale, so they forbid it.

I cannot tell you to "just go for it". You have to make that decision on your own. If you ask the state, they'll probably say no. If you don't ask...

Breakfast Diva's picture
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the tax argument they have is ridiculous. We, the innkeeper have paid the tax when we bought it. We buy it retail, so full taxation. Why would they be able to double dip?

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When I was planning to apply for a B&B alcohol permit (our state has a separate permit for B&B's, allowing beer and wine only) I attended the mandated one-day class in Little Rock on the rules. We were told that all private clubs here, including B&Bs, are required to buy our stock at a private, licensed liquor store, pay full price including sales tax, then tax it again when we sell it at the B&B.

A guy raised his hand and said, "But isn't that double-dipping? We've already paid tax on it once."

The class instructor said, "Cry me a river. Next question."

They make the laws, and the law here is that it's taxed twice. Don't like it, you don't have to apply for a permit.

Madeleine's picture
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I know you don't live here but that sounds very familiar!

Plus, here we have to tell the guests exactly where they can imbibe, they can only imbibe what they've bought here and i have to buy MY wine thru the distributor, too.

And, your distributor is assigned. You can only go there. Ours is 30 minutes away. There is one 2 blocks away but that's not mine.

That was years ago, maybe it's all changed but I don't want to be the alcohol police. Bad enough I have to police the parking lot!

MountainMystery's picture
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Wow, this is nuts! Seriously, they even tell you exactly where you have to buy from?? I had been throwing around the idea of looking into what my state requires in case we wanted to start offering it for gift or sale, but forget it! I'll just stick with sparkling cider...

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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I'm so glad I live in a state where 6 or less rooms properties can actually sell wine and beer to our customers. Maybe it's because we have a lot of wineries that have some leverage.

I sold 2 bottles just this past weekend as well as a romance package which contains a bottle of champagne. enlightened

Madeleine's picture
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I can still maple syrup without a license! Just sold one today! And had one in a pkg last week.

Madeleine's picture
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Check with your state! If I put wine in the room for a guest it's considered as sold here. Guest paid for room, wine was in room, guest paid for wine, I sold wine without a license.

I don't mess with ATF!

I don't think it's the same if you are having wine and ask someone to join you. But I don't think you can be in the inn proper. More like on your own porch.

I think we used to be able to have a bottle of wine out that anyone could drink as long as it was available to anyone at any time.

Every state and town and county is different.

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