Not hungry? Proposed law change would let you take home rest of bottled wine anyway

You weren’t hungry enough to order the entree, but you still had to order that bottle of your favorite wine. And now you want to go home, but your waiter says you can’t take the rest of the bottle because you didn’t order a full meal.

Help might be on the way, in a state Senate bill sponsored by Republican Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg.

Under the current “Merlot to go” law enacted in Florida in 2005, anyone wishing to take the rest of their wine home can only do so if they consumed the first part of the bottle with a “full course meal” — not an appetizer, not a sandwich, and not a fried fish basket.

The law is specific about what that meal must include: “A salad or vegetable, entree, a beverage, and bread.”

It’s not difficult to surmise the reason: A full-course meal takes more time to consume and time counteracts effects of alcohol. But who is to say a patron won’t spend the same amount of time consuming an appetizer, sandwich or fried basket?