Should under-21 winemaking students be allowed to sip?

A bill in Washington state proposes letting under-21 winemaking students sip and spit.
(Yvan Dube / Getty Images)

If you’re under 21 and studying viticulture or winemaking, by law, you’re not allowed to sample the wines you’re learning to make.

A proposed bill in Washington state aims to change that. According to reporter Tim Haeck at, representative Larry Haler “has introduced introduced a measure, HB 1549, to allow students between the ages of 18 and 21 who are enrolled in a wine-making or a similar program at a college or vocational school, to sip the wine they’re studying.


That’s sipping and spitting, not swallowing. “Tasting for the underage student would be restricted to a classroom or with direct supervision of an instructor.” Makes sense to me: How are you going to learn about wine if you can’t taste it?

The bill will be heard in the state capitol, Olympia (in case you didn’t know), this coming Tuesday.


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