County clears liquor-store tastings

The Mesa County Commission on Monday unanimously agreed to allow retail liquor stores in unincorporated areas of the county to serve alcohol samples to their customers, a practice similar to the tastings already allowed at wineries.

The tastings at liquor stores will be done in accordance with state law, which limits the size of each serving, the number each customer may have and the hours and days tastings can be allowed.

Prior to Monday only customers of liquor stores in Grand Junction, which allows tastings on a limited basis, and local wineries could expect to be served a free sample of alcohol.

But Nathalia Ames, the owner of Mesa Creek Wine and Liquors in Mesa, 11011 Colorado Highway 65, said she wanted to offer tastings because she is always importing new wines and stocking them in her 16-foot-by-16-foot wine-sale room.

“It is surprising, in a good way, our wine sells really well,” said Ames, who also owns Blink Coffee, Mesa Creek Cottages and Mesa Creek Inc. “We have over 60 different types from all over the world and all price points are selling.”

Ames, an ex-Chicagoan, bought her first property in Mesa nine years ago. She has not looked back since. Several old buildings and vacant land within the town of Mesa have been transformed by her entrepreneurial touch.

“We have very loyal locals,” she said. “We (also) have very supportive people stop by every time they are in Mesa.”

The permit allows Ames to offer free samples of any kind of alcohol, but she said that she will stick with the wines.


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