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Mr Grumpy: wine website access

I visit a lot of wine websites. The law requires some sort of age verification before entering any winery website. The law is an ass.

Age verification should be a requirement when ordering wine, not for browsing a website. My ten-year-old grand-daughter can legally enter a wine shop or winery premises, but she is not allowed to sample or buy any alcohol-related product. So why can’t she visit a website?

Full marks to wine producers or retailers who flout the law by giving everyone access. Does anyone actually police websites that promote alcohol? I would imagine that it’s one of those grey areas that liquor licensing officials turn a blind eye to “unless there’s a problem” which there won’t be.

A black mark to wine producers or retailers who demand my actual birth date and country of residence. They might be correctly enforcing the law but they are also pissing off their customers.

6 thoughts on “Mr Grumpy: wine website access”

  1. Sue Story says:

    Hear hear! Hate that!

  2. John Hancock says:

    Couldn’t agree more! (Mind you, I am just about to fill in those details you detest)!

  3. James says:

    Absolutely. Dumbest thing ever. I usually just enter something like 1st January 1910, and through I go (I am not 117yrs old).
    BTW, how many teens looking for alcohol access buy $40 bottles of wine? Or more?
    Just another example of taxpayer paid so-called ‘public servants’ dreaming up solutions for problems that don’t exist (although it does keep them employed). Stupid waste of time.

  4. Ian Dee says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe alcohol websites are meant to have an age restriction at BOTH homepage and sales page. Our local alcohol authority had a go at me because I didn’t have an age restriction for the website. I told them I don’t have an online shop and they saw my point. They do sometimes check but not whether potential customers put the right date in. So it’s a bit of a joke really.
    What I do find worrying is when my young girls are watching lego friends on youtube and an advert for Corona comes up!

  5. Frank says:

    More troubling is that they can sell without disclosing %ABV which is strange considering the strict labelling rules. Most web sites do not give this detail.

    As well, not actually verifying the age of buyer is probably illegal with respect to RSA. In person you can’t sell to someone who says they are 21 when they are obviously not so how is this OK?

    Wine review websites that don’t mention sweetness/dryness, oak, greenness, faults etc bug me more.

  6. Katie Hutton says:

    The law indicates that your 10 year old grand-daughter cannot enter a bar or bottle store (considered a restricted area on the off-license) without a legal guardian accompanying her which is why they require the age restriction on entry for the website. I agree that this is a stupid law as there is nothing to stop them from just saying yes they are of legal age and getting in. Same as they may walk through the door of a bottle store. Although we are supposed to kindly show them out if they are not accompanying an adult.

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