A. Manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, whether or not licensed in the Commonwealth, and wine or beer wholesalers may conduct tastings of wine, beer, or spirits within hotels, restaurants, and clubs licensed for on-premises consumption provided:
1. The tastings are conducted only by (i) employees of such manufacturers or wholesalers or (ii) authorized representatives of such manufacturers or wholesalers, which authorized representatives have obtained a permit in accordance with subdivision A 15 of § 4.1-212;
2. Such employees or authorized representatives are present while the tastings are being conducted;
3. No category of alcoholic beverage products is offered to consumers unless the retail licensee on whose premises the tasting is conducted is licensed to sell that category of alcoholic beverage product;
4. All alcoholic beverage products used in the tasting are served to the consumer by employees of the retail licensee;
5. The quantity of wine, beer, or spirits provided to any person during the tasting does not exceed 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one and one-half ounces of spirits; however, for any spirits tastings, no single sample shall exceed one-half ounce per spirits product offered and no more than three spirits products may be offered to any patron; and
6. All alcoholic beverage products used in the tasting are purchased from the retail licensee on whose premises the tasting is conducted; except that no more than $ 100 may be expended by or on behalf of any such manufacturer or wholesaler at any retail licensed premises during any 24-hour period. For the purposes of this subdivision, the $ 100 limitation shall be exclusive of taxes and gratuities, which gratuities may not exceed 20 percent of the cost of the alcoholic beverages, including taxes, for the alcoholic beverages purchased for the tasting.
B. Manufacturers, wholesalers, and their authorized representatives shall keep complete records of each tasting authorized by this section for a period of not less than two years, which records shall include the date and place of each tasting conducted and the dollar amount expended by the manufacturer, wholesaler, or his agent or representative in the purchase of the alcoholic beverages used in the tasting.
C. Manufacturers and wholesalers shall be held liable for any violation of this section committed by their employees or authorized representative in connection with their employment or representation at any tasting event.
2006, c. 826; 2007, cc. 452, 722.