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Alcohol Content in Wine

We found a great piece in the Seattle Times Wine Adviserwine alcohol level about alcohol levels in wines. Alcohol levels must be printed on wine labels according to Federal regulations. The Washington Wine Report notes that wines fourteen percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and under are allowed a 1.5% margin of error – provided the alcohol content does not exceed 14%. Wines over 14% are allowed a margin of error of 1%. In other words, a wine listed at 15% alcohol may be as high as 16% without running afoul of the feds. For this reason alone, there is a good chance that the percentage listed on the label is not entirely accurate. In this case, the printed numbers err significantly and still fall within the letter of the law. Wine Adviser, Paul Gregutt writes,
"So, what's too high? And what's wrong with high-alcohol wines anyway? "When a wine finishes with a burning sensation — that's too high. When the alcohol level is such that it must be masked by winemaking tricks such as massive amounts of new oak, or unwanted residual sugar — that's too high. When a wine loses all traces of varietal character or the more subtle elements that contribute to its aroma, complexity, texture and balance — that's too high. "Worst of all, when a wine reaches such ridiculous levels of alcohol that one glass makes you punch drunk — dry zinfandels pinning the meter at over 17 percent — that's waaay too high. "...When unfortified wines climb above 15.5 percent, they almost always lose subtlety and finesse. Nuances are gone, replaced by the dynamic trio of alcohol, fruit jam and lumber. Apart from the bludgeoning such wines give the palate, they are almost impossible to match with food."
In general, we've found the following to be a helpful guide: Table wine: 8 – 14% Sparkling wine: 8 – 12% Fortified wine: 17 – 22% Part of Responsible Alcohol Service is knowing how much punch a drink packs. It's important to pay attention to alcohol levels in various wines and liquors to avoid over-serving. AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Become a Better Bartender: Know Your Customers

One of the best ways to become a successful bartender is to know your customers. Knowing your customers means using the customers names to build rapport, reading your customers, and anticipating their needs. Learn to remember names - if not long term, at least for the night. Pay close attention your customer when he walks in - and strike up conversation. The better you are at learning about and remembering your customers, the better you’ll be able to serve them. bartender When it comes to using and remembering your customers names, you might cringe; however, nothing captures your customer’s attention and confidence faster than hearing his own name. You don't need a stellar memory - just find a way that works for you and stick to it. You might try name association; for example, Stella likes Stella Artois, Jerry likes Jack and Cokes. You could also try repetition; such as, "Hi, Dave!" and later, "Is your drink okay, Dave?" "Dave, can I get you anything else?" It sounds sort of silly, but it definitely works. There's no way to remember every customer's name, but try either of these tricks and you'll be amazed when - a month later - you remember the name of that familiar face at the bar! Learning a customer's name is a great way to get them talking, and talking with your customers clues you in to a few things. Are they chatty or reserved? A quick chat will put your customer at ease. Are they grumpy or do they seem happy? Alcohol seems to exaggerate moods, so you might be more cautious about how much you serve a sullen customer. Are they easy to talk to? You'll be better able to assess when enough is enough - for example, are they slurring? Has their reaction time dropped drastically? Pay attention to these clues and you'll know when to pour and when to say, "No more." Paying attention to these clues will also help you remember to check back in with your customers and anticipate their needs. You want bright, smiling faces around your bar and striking up conversation is a good way to engage your customers. AACEA provides alcohol server training that promotes responsible alcohol sales and service. Get your Washington alcohol permit online. For more information on Washington alcohol certification and to take your class from the comfort of your home visit www.aacea.com. If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

In the News: Boating Under the Influence

There's a new DUI crackdown initiative, as many States are starting to crack down on boating under the influence. From USA Today's Larry Copeland:
As the summer boating season enters full swing, states are moving to curtail a peril on the water - boating while intoxicated. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents involving the USA's 12.4 million registered boats, the U.S. Coast Guard says. There were 126 fatalities and 293 injuries in 330 alcohol-related boating accidents in the USA in 2010. "It's starting to get recognized that boating while intoxicated is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated," says Lt. Cody Jones, a game warden for the marine enforcement section of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. "You're in a 1-ton vehicle, but this vehicle doesn't have brakes, and there's no lane of traffic or stop sign to direct you." He and other experts say that many recreational boaters don't realize that stress factors associated with boating - such as heat, direct sunlight, vibration, wind and noise - magnify the effects of alcohol. "Alcohol has more of an impact out there," says Maj. Chris Huebner, North Carolina's state boating safety coordinator. "It can take as little as one-third the alcohol on the water as on land to be impaired." Danger on water The Lexington, Ky.-based National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is pushing for a national marine field sobriety test standard that would enable patrol officers to test boaters while they're seated. Other action: ..Starting July 1, the legal blood alcohol level of someone operating a boat in Iowa will be lowered from .10% to .08%. ..Oklahoma also lowered its legal blood alcohol level for boaters from .10% to .08%. ..North Carolina launched "On the Road or On the Water," the first statewide joint effort by police agencies to combat both driving and boating under the influence. ..Texas uses "no refusal" weekends, during which on-site judges work with police to issue search warrants to draw blood from suspects under investigation for boating or driving drunk who refuse a breath test. ..New York's state Senate passed a bill to change a law that allows someone convicted of boating under the influence to be considered a first-time offender even if they had a prior conviction for driving a motor vehicle under the influence.
Many people are not aware that in Washington State "Boating Under the Influence" is actually a criminal misdemeanor offense. The charge of Boating Under the Influence is actually called "Operation of a Vessel Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor"and is governed by Revised Code of Washington RCW 79A.60.040. Our students at AACEA are the first line of defense against drunk driving (and drunk boating).AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEAis hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes – sign up today and you’re eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washingtonvisit www.aacea.com. If you’re working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

Increased Menu Prices Could Mean More Money In Your Pocket

Restaurants may begin increasing menu prices next year without the fear of losing customers accustomed to deals and discounts, according to a recent report from Jeff Omohundro, a senior securities analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation for food at home and dining out approaching the same rates. “With the rate of inflation for food at home increasing in recent months to 1.4 percent, in line with food away from home, we think restaurants may be better positioned to pass along menu price increases to consumers,” he said. We all know that increased menu prices leads to higher check averages, which leads to an increase in tips. Continuing to provide excellent service is key to taking advantage of increased menu prices. Add in an alcoholic beverage up sell and you are on your way! We all know the importance of server training in order to learn about responsible alcohol service. In order to get your bartending license or alcohol servers permit in Washington you must have an alcohol server permit. You can now take this class online at http://www.aacea.com. Len Riggs continues to offer this fun and informative class on alcohol server training and now from the comfort of your own home!

New Food Service Requirements for Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

While food service violations are not among the most common violations, restaurants should be aware of the food service requirements for their liquor license type.

The WSLCB this fall adopted new food requirements for spirits, beer and wine restaurants. Highlights: * Expanded items that are considered an entrée to include hamburgers, salads, sandwiches, pizza and breakfast items as long as they include a side dish. * Entrees do not include snack items, menu items which consist solely of precooked frozen food that is reheated, or carry-out items obtained from other businesses. * Increased the number of complete meals required from four to eight. A complete meal is an entrée (steak, fish, pasta, etc.) and at least one side dish (soup, vegetables, salad, potatoes, french fries, rice, fruit, and bread). * Restaurants must serve complete meals for five hours a day, five days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Previously, the hours were between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Restaurants having problems meeting their food service requirement should look into the new spirits, beer and wine nightclub liquor license, which is for businesses that primarily provide live entertainment and serve alcohol with main hours between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. The license does not have a food requirement.

Available resources Restaurants should take advantage of the following resources: * Written business policies that describe expectations and how to handle various situations should be developed, and regularly shared with employees. * Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) is required by law for managers, bartenders and other employees who serve or supervise the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption. * WSLCB Responsible Alcohol and Tobacco Sales classes are offered regularly around the state by WSLCB enforcement officers. Class schedules. * WSLCB website has information on selling responsibly and public safety laws, educational videos and more. * WSLCB enforcement officers are available to help you understand liquor laws. Enforcement Customer Service: (360) 664-9878

In conclusion, restaurants can contribute to public safety and keep their customers safe by carrying out their work in a way that supports Washington's liquor laws.

AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com

Recipe: Use Your St Germain

cocktail splashThe history of the popularity of St-Germain liqueur isn’t long - it is by many accounts the “it” liqueur right now, and its popularity seems to have come out of nowhere. Made from elderflowers grown in the French Alps, St-Germain is refreshing and mixes well with many different ingredients. It’s slightly sweet and a bit floral, and the St-Germain cocktail could be called the thinking woman’s Cosmo. In other words, if you've got a client you want to impress, having a bottle of St-Germain stashed away will up your stock. A good mixologist will have St-Germain on hand. There is no denying its prominent place on the best cocktail menus from L.A. to London. This is also a high-quality liqueur is made from delicate flowers and is best when used in a simple recipe. This recipe is the most straightforward way to appreciate St-Germain’s flavor short of sipping it straight. St-Germain Cocktail Ingredients: 2 parts champagne or dry sparkling white wine 1.5 parts St-Germain 2 parts club soda Instructions: Fill a Collins glass with ice. First, add St-Germain, then champagne, then club soda. Stir well, and garnish with a lemon twist. If you haven't got a bottle of champagne open, there are a few other ways to enjoy this delicious liqueur: Elderflower Collins (Cocktail) - Gin, Lemon Juice, Soda, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur French Apple Martini (Martini) - Lemon Juice, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Vodka Part of becoming a better bartender is being knowledgeable about your drinks. Thinking of becoming a bartender? AACEAprovides alcohol server training which promotes responsible service and sales of alcohol. AACEA is hosting a raffle for students enrolled in our alcohol server training classes - sign up today and you're eligible to win $100 from AACEA and Len Riggs. To get your alcohol servers permit in Washington visit www.aacea.com. If you're working in the Hospitality industry and are currently enrolled or enrolling in college, tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win a scholarship for $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

There's still a chance to win $500 through the AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives!

We're giving everybody an extension, and a second chance to win $500!

Are you working in the Hospitality industry and currently enrolled or enrolling in college? Tell us what it means to you to be the first line of defense in drunk driving and you may win $500 through the Len Riggs and AACEA Scholarship to Save Lives Contest. Entries will be accepted until July 1st.

To enter: Like the AACEA Facebook page and read the complete contest rules (find them here). Submit an essay, poem, song, or other piece of creative writing explaining what it means to you as a hospitality worker, to be the first line of defense in keeping drunk drivers off our roads. Send your submissions via email to scholarshiptosavelives@aacea.com.

Need an example? Here's a Sample Entry From Len Riggs, founder of AACEA:

"When I first became certified by the WSLCB I can remember reading the approval letter and thinking "Now what?" I started out with a shoe string budget, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. I had one goal in mind and that was to become the number one provider in Washington. When I mentioned that goal I was met with a lot of skepticism.

"As I began my quest I found myself digging deeper into the culture of alcohol service and could see where I could make a difference by teaching those in my class with more than just enough information to pass the test and get their permit.

"When I teach a class or when I train a trainer for AACEA / LRAST, I do my best to get the fact across that they (the student) can make a difference and save lives. Many times I have been contacted by past students who either went through a class that I taught, or through one of our trainers to thank us for teaching us what we taught."

Find out more about AACEA at: https://aacea.com/.

Tips to Look Like a Bartending Pro!

Straight from getting your MAST certification, you might still feel a little wet behind the ears in the world of bartending. Here's a few tips on how you can look like a pro from the start: Keep a smile on your face No matter how busy it gets, or how many customers are trying to get your attention, you can only serve one person at a time. Keep smiling, and try to crack a few jokes. Remember that people are there to have a good time, so they'll be appreciative of you keeping things light. Learn how to rim a drink properly You want the salt or sugar to be on the outside of the rim; nobody wants it falling into the drink. For a bit of dash, take a slice of lemon or lime and slick it around the edge, then tilt the glass and rotate it around in the sugar or salt. Let other bartenders know where you are Always, always let other bartenders know when you are behind them, especially if they're known for trying fancy tricks with bottles. See how everyone else is doing it, but just saying 'behind you' or tapping them on the shoulder ought to do it. Equally, try to be aware of who is coming and going behind you, too. Don't cry over spilt milk! You will spill something, and probably break something too. This happens, so just apologise, tidy up and carry on. It's not the end of your career. You might be the butt of a few jokes for the rest of the night, but don't take it personally. Head to AACEA.com to get your bartending certification and enter into the fast-paced world of bartending.

What can having your MAST permit do for you?

Anyone who serves alcohol needs a MAST permit; it does stand for Mandatory Alcohol Server Training after all. But did you know that even ID checkers have MAST permits? And also, that you need a MAST permit if you're helping out by serving the wine at someone's banquet event, or wedding dinner? There are two kinds of MAST permit; the Class 12 Mixologist permit and the Class 13 Servers permit. A Class 13 Servers permit will allow you to take and serve alcohol orders, and pour it into a customer's glass at the table, but not to draw wine or beer from a tap, or mix drinks. If you're between 18 and 21, this is the permit to apply for. A Class 12 Mixologist permit allows you to do everything someone with a Class 13 permit can do, but also draw beer and wine from a tap, mix drinks and manage an establishment. You can upgrade your permit when you turn 21 by taking the appropriate course. At Americas Alcohol Certified Education Association, we offer upgrades and renewals - so whether you need to upgrade to a Class-12 permit, or simply need to get your yearly renewal, we can help! MAST permits are good for 5 years, which means that you'll suddenly be popular at all of your friends' weddings and events as someone they can call on to help out serving the celebratory champagne! Of course, it also means you'll be an easy hire for any bars looking for staff; they don't have to wait for you to get your permit and you've already shown that you're dedicated to the world of bartending. Get your Washington alcohol permit with AACEA.com and start practicing your champagne towers for all those summer weddings!

Louisiana Bar Card and Washington State MAST permit. Arizona Title 4 Basic Training Online AZ DLLC Alcohol Server Approved Certification Course California Responsible Beverage Service RBS TIPS Certificate Program On Off Premises ABC Florida Vendor State Compliant Montana Ohio Seller For Sellers Servers Bartenders and Managers Get your TABC Certification for selling serving alcohol in Texas Your official can be printed online upon completion Utah Mobile Friendly valid Bartender School on off premise server training permit classes by Len Riggs

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