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Is the cocktail party over?

Acquiring wine donations for non-profit fund raising events used to be a lot easier.

All you had to do was befriended an owner or general manager of a sizable liquor store and you could count on a donation for your cause. Retail stores would make a donation and then later insist that the distributors replace it or face the consequences. Distributors were often forced to make donations, never seeing a benefit.

Now I know what you're thinking; it's a charitable donation, they shouldn't expect anything in return. You're right, but imagine if you had to give money to every charity that existed. Eventually you would be broke.

About eighteen months ago Colorado Liquor Enforcement decided to tighten up on all these free style tasting events. Donations to the Littleton Billiard, Beagle, and Boggle Association went away. Distributors now have the power to demand proof that their donations are going to a legitimate cause. Lots of paperwork is required these days to get that free case of wine with the cuddly beast on the label.

Now that the supply chain has the ability to say no, tasting events are declining. It is the general consensus in the liquor industry that tastings are just cocktail parties that do not encourage much subsequent sales. If we want to continue fund raising events for charities we need support the businesses that make them possible. This means taking a few notes and holding onto the program until your next trip to the liquor store. It also means shopping at the store that sponsors the event and telling the management that you are making a purchase because of their efforts. You were going to buy a few bottles of wine anyway; why not support those that fund your favorite benefit cocktail party?

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