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Legal Drinking Age in Spain (namely Andalucia)?

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Jun 9th, 2013, 06:28 AM
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Legal Drinking Age in Spain (namely Andalucia)?

My 15 year-old daughter wants to try sangria and sherry in Spain. She'll be with us, her parents. What is the legal drinking age? We;ll be in Sevilla and the rest of Andalaucia..
I'm getting conflicting information on the internet.
Some sources say 18, some 16. One source (a page about Madrid) said minors could even order a drink in public if with their parents.

What's the correct info here? If I give her a sip of my sherry in a restaurant, will we be fined, or will no one bat an eyelash?
(I'm coming from the U.S. where, theoretically, it's illegal to give your kids a sip of alcohol, including beer and wine, in your own home.)

Thanks!
BumbleB6 is offline  
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Jun 9th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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You cannot purchase for or supply to anyone under 18.
WomBatt is offline  
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Jun 9th, 2013, 08:09 AM
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If she is with you in a restaurant, there won't be any problem.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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well Asturia is different (of course) 16 while the rest of Spain is 18 to buy booze. In your home consumption not a problem at any age. Parental consent seems to have a big affect on how all this is managed in a restaurant. So 1) it is your responsibility and 2) taken with moderation you will not have a problem
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Jun 9th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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It would be difficult to say what would happen in a restaurant. It's doubtful they would break the law and serve your daughter her own glass of wine or sherry, but if you were to let her slip yours, it wouldn't be an issue.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Tapas bars, for example are often family affiars, so a sip here or there will not bother anyone.

Personal prejudice:

Sangria was originally made to make cheap awful wines taste better. And beleive me there are still some awful wines out there. At first they were for tourists and now you will see some Spaniards drinking it. You should drink the wide array of Spanish wines including the often overlooked Albariños and skip the snagria.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Actually, sangria has been around a long time in one form or another, mainly as a red wine punch, popular in the south when the weather is warm and you're sitting in the shade at the beach. Everybody has their own recipe, so no two will be alike. But you can now purchase it in the store, some really bad stuff, much like bottled Kalimotxo.

Sangria was first introduced in the States during the 1964 New York World's Fair and tourist have been asking for it ever since.

We used to drink Kalimotxo during fiesta when the better red wines became scarce and all that was left to drink was fresh green wine mixed with coke.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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I don;t know the legal age in Spain - but do know th tin many countries wine and beer are legal earlier (16?) than hard liquote (18?). However, if you order wine at dinner we always found that our DDs were served along with us - from the tithey were 14 or so - and no one ever asked for info.

Caveat: They are tall girls and grew early - so by 14 they were 5'9" and developed - so and easily cold have been 18. If you have a 15 year old who is tiny and looks like a child they might not serve her.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 12:38 PM
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When we first visited Spain in the early 1970's you rarely saw a Spaniard drink Sangria and it was mostly confined to the south. It was a tourist drink and the first Sangria that was widely marketed in the US was 1/2 step above truly rough inexpensive table wine. Now it is a sign of sophistication as our young college education Gallego cousins have it as a casual drink.

But there is a wide selection, that while tarveling in Spain, and if someone is interested in wine, take advantage of the growth of the industry.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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I asked this question in a bar on the Costa Blanca a number of years ago. The bartender gave me a funny look and said, "Is the child tall enough to reach up and place the money on the bar? If so, I will serve him."

In any case, I can't see it being a problem in any restaurant where families are served. It is common practice to place a wine glass at every place setting. It is also common practice for children to be served watered wine with dinner. When we lived in Spain the waiter, when pouring wine, would give me a quizzical look when he approached the kids. I would hold up two fingers to show "a little" and he would pour a tiny bit into the glasses of the kids who wanted it. I, or my wife, would then fill the rest of the glass with water. The kids got to play grownup, and to see that a glass of wine with the family at a meal is not a sin.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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the law change to cover all of Spain So the posting by bilboburgler is no longer valid It is 18. The trouble is if a restaurant or bar is caught with you letting a very young child having a drink they can be fined too. Would you wish that on any owner?
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Jun 9th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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Ribeirsacra

Who enforces the law and when have you seen it enforced?
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Jun 9th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Any establishment selling or serving alcohol to minors of under 18 years of age now faces a fixed MINIMUM penalty of 30,000 euros. Yes, thirty thousand. And can go up to a fixed maximum of 600,000 euros.
I assume that even the most remote risk of being reported will no vale la pena for any bar or restaurant owner...
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Jun 9th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Our last experience with this was about 6 years ago - so can't comment on how this law changed things.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 11:06 PM
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Who enforces? The undercover policeman or policewoman. We even have them in Pamplona during fiesta, but it's also the locals who have no quells in turning someone in who is breaking the law. It's a cultural thing.
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Jun 9th, 2013, 11:54 PM
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This discussion is getting a bit off track and is a bit silly. The OP asked if he/she could give his daughter a glass of sangria to try in a restaurant. Recent posters are talking about laws meant to keep merchants from selling/serving alcohol to minors under 18. I can, of course, understand a bar owner refusing to sell booze to an underage kid.

In the OPs situation the waiter has sold/served alcohol to an adult. The adult then lets his kid have a sip. Do you suppose the waiter will come to the table and snatch the glass away? Has anyone in Spain, ever, been prosecuted for allowing his own child to take a sip of wine? Don't be ridiculous!
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Jun 9th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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Let her sip. No problem.
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Jun 10th, 2013, 05:18 AM
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Who enforces? The undercover policeman or policewoman. We even have them in Pamplona during fiesta

That is because drunks outnumber the bulls 10,000 to 1 for San Fermin. And the bulls do not throw up in the streets or sleep drunk in the parks.
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Jun 10th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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I understand your point, Big Al, that there is a problem of drunken louts in Barcelona, and that they have undercover cops that try to stop the sale of booze to them. It is ridiculous, however to think that these police will cruize restaurants, arresting Dads who let their own kids have a drink.

Even in some of the few remaining "dry" sections of the States, where religious fanatics think alcohol is a sin, one would never expect the police to interfere with a parental relationship over a drink. Certainly this would never happen in the Spain I know and love.
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Jun 10th, 2013, 11:06 PM
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Big Al it does not matter who it forces it. It is the law. Fines are high for the bar owner. With fines for the owner so high maybe it will be the owner. I would if I was a bar owner.
It is the same for antismoking laws, because the fines are so high it was "self regulating" Bar owners are scared to hell that someone would walking and denounce them.
Can we please keep this topic on Spain and not write about laws in other countries?
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