I don't know if this is the first of these events, as touted, but I think it's worth noting that a 2007 law that took effect in July allows liquor stores in Arkanas -- like those in 39 other states -- to offer free samples of distilled spirits and beer. A 2005 law had allowed free wine tastings. The free tastings are ways for distributors to introduce products to shoppers. I remember running into a wine tasting of nouveau Beaujolais in a shop in Paris in the 1980s and thought, gee, isn't this nice? I bought the stuff I liked. 20 or so years later, free hooch c'est arrivee in Arkansas.
The particular event mentioned to me that prompted this note is a tasting of a variety of products Thursday afternoon at Pleasant Valley Liquor at Green Mountain and Rodney Parham. Anybody else out there doing similar are welcome to append notices here.