Pat Nolan Blog

Legal mouthful overcome in the UK

UK retailers can once again sell thimblefuls of wine for customers after a five year ban thanks to the endeavors of London sommelier Dawn Davies.

For many years Dawn helped shoppers develop their taste for expensive wines by offering some of the world’s best examples for the price of a sip – a fifth of a small glass of wine – in her Wonder Bar in Selfridges’ ground floor.

However Weights & Measures officials from Westminster Council put a stop to it five years ago by pronouncing her offer in breach of the 1988 Weights and Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Order which established 125ml as the minimum amount of wine that could be served.

So Dawn went on a campaign to have this legislation overturned, organising petitions and writing letters to the local Government regulatory body Lacors. She also persuaded UK drinks industry organisations to lend their support and her efforts have finally met with success as the National Measurement Office has now agreed to the mini-measures under the new Weights & Measures (Specified Quantities) (Unwrapped Bread and Intoxicating Liquor) Order 2011 which effectively permits any measure of wine to be served below 75ml.

“It’s the first time that the Government has done anything positive for the drinks industry in a very long time,” commented a delighted Dawn who can now legally serve a sip of Chablis 1er Cru or a Domaine Christin Joreau Pére et Fils for £1.75 or a Pauillac for £2.75 or any other such wines from the 25 offerings via Wonder Bar’s wine ‘juke box’, a device  not dissimilar to that in our own Enowine outlet in Monkstown, South County Dublin.

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