The Louisiana House Judiciary Committee deferred for the second time a vote on a bill that would allow wine ice cream in the state. House Bill 471 from Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe, would exempt ice cream from "adulterated food" prohibited by state law.
Wine ice cream — available from Mercer's in New York, offering flavors like Cherry Merlot, Peach White Zinfandel and Red Raspberry Chardonnay, with 5 percent alcohol by volume — was turned down by Louisiana attorney general Buddy Caldwell last year in a letter to Troy Hebert, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control (ATC), which helped draft Hunter's legislation.
At today's meeting, Rep. Ray Garofalo Jr., R-Chalmette, said he feared wine ice cream would be attractive to children, and that there are no ways for law enforcement to prevent children and people under 21 from buying it. Hunter said, "There’s no way we can legislate the provision for a child or adult from getting alcoholic beverages."
Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, said the committee was "creating more problems than it needs" adding that it already delayed a vote in March. "We beat it up then and we're beating it up now."