Heaven Was A Drink Of Wine

We’re constantly being lectured by the government and other alcohol-Nazis that wine measures are too large. The industry should be responsible and serve the smaller 125ml measure, we are told. So it was with some amusement that I read that one of Britain’s top chefs had gotten into hot water for serving too SMALL wine measures.

Michael Caines was running a meal and wine tasting deal at his Abode chain of restaurants. And despite stating that the wine was of a smaller measure than usual, the Michelin-starred chef soon found himself in trouble with the authorities. For-and he really must have known this-he was clearly breaching the Weights and Measures Act. This sets the legally permitted measures at 125,175 and 250ml.

I do have some sympathy with Mr Caines and his claim that the law is “archaic”. And indeed, the government is said to be considering the issue of wine-tasting. However, he goes on to say “We're under pressure to reduce the amount of alcohol people consume. When you're talking about drinking with food, I think we should encourage smaller measures.”

Now I would have thought that eating whilst drinking means you can actually drink more, not less. And, although I may be bias as someone who thinks 250ml should be compulsory, is 125ml really too large for a lunchtime, as he claims. His customers seem divided on the issue, with some agreeing with him but the counter argument being nicely put by Fiona Williamson, who said, “If you're having anything less than 125mls, it's not worth having as far as I'm concerned."

And just because you are under pressure to serve smaller measures, doesn’t mean you have to give in. It’s clearly annoyed the Scottish Government, though, with their spokesman asserting that they were more concerned about a shift towards larger-not smaller-measures of alcohol. Speak for yourself.

My thanks to grape fiend Archimedes for drawing my attention to this story.


Woolpack Dave said…
The weights and measures laws do create some headaches for operators who want to do something a little different.

For instance, try getting pint and half pint branded glasses for draft Belgian beers.

I do believe it is important that the customer gets the measure expected, but it would be nice to allow a little more flexibility for different measures.

Of course, pint measures for wine might be nice for some.
Penny said…
Whilst it might be a nice gimmick to be able to offer smaller measures, I just don't think there is any real need for it. To say 125ml is too large for lunchtime is nonsence. People are used to the measures now and smaller ones would only mean people thinking they can drink more of them with impunity.
RedNev said…
If 125ml is too much, why are you drinking?

I feel the same way about people who want to drink thirds of a pint of ale ~ why? I know the excuses they give, so no need to regurgitate them here: I'm simply not convinced.

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