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Legal wine measures

Does still wine have to be offered in 125ml measures?

Q: I run a wine bar with a large selection of wines on the menu. I have always traditionally offered customers certain wines in 175ml and 250ml measures with others only being available by the bottle. My local Licensing Officer has recently visited me and told me that I have to offer all of my wines in 125ml measures. They have said that I will to invest in a stock of 125ml wine glasses and every single wine must be offered in this quantity. Is this correct?

A: All licences now contain a mandatory condition requiring that still wine must be offered in 125ml measures and that this fact must be communicated to customers. The easiest way of communicating it to customers is via the menu so that there can be no misunderstanding.

There is no getting around the requirement but there is nothing in law to say that you have to have a 125ml glass. As long as you have a properly stamped measure that can dispense a 125ml quantity you can use whatever size of glass that you wish to present the drink to the customer.

There is also no legal requirement to provide customers with every single still wine that you offer in such quantities. It would be rather ridiculous if a very expensive bottle of wine, which very few customers would ever want, had to be available in such measures. You could conceivably have to sell a single 125ml measure and then the rest of the bottle could go to waste. As long as you have a limited number of different wines available in the 125ml quantity then that will be sufficient.

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