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Johnson & Wimberly Bill Establishing Wine Consultant Permit in New Jersey Passes Assembly Committee

In order to allow individuals to serve as wine consultants at tasting events, Assembly Democrats Gordon Johnson and Benjie Wimberly sponsor legislation that would require the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to establish a wine consultant permit in New Jersey.

The bill (A-4424) requires the Director of the ABC to establish a permit for wine consultants who are either independent contractors or employees of a licensed alcohol supplier, manufacturer or other similar business. Wine consultants are individuals who are authorized to describe and pour samples of wine to consumers at private educational tasting events.

The legislation sets forth an application process as well as requirements for both recordkeeping and registration of these consultants. It also stipulates usage of the license and what would cause it to be revoked, such as serving alcohol to a person under the age of 21.

Upon the bill being advanced by the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee Thursday, Assemblymen Johnson (D-Bergen) and Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following joint statement:

“Educational wine tasting events are an entertaining way for New Jersey residents to learn more about the sophisticated beverage from knowledgeable experts. This legislation will ensure wine consultants can provide samples and describe wine to consumers throughout the state. A standard permit procedure will ensure all workers in this industry understand New Jersey’s requirements, its health codes and regulations.”