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‘Small’ wine serves becoming rarer

Pubs in the UK that break the law by neglecting to offer 125ml servings of wine are becoming more common, a report has revealed.

As many as one in seven pubs in the UK are refusing to serve the ‘small’ serving of 125ml, breaking trading laws in an effort to force customers to upgrade to larger portions at a higher profit margin.

And even a third of those pubs that do offer small serves failed to state it clearly on wine lists and drinks menus, again in breach of the law.

The report, commissioned by insurance firm Direct Line, shows that customers are also being encouraged into large serves by having to pay more per millilitre if they chose small glasses – in 84% of pubs it is cheaper to by one large 250ml glass than it is to buy two 125ml glasses.

The report says: “Our research suggests pubs are failing to offer customers the choice of a 125ml glass of wine, despite it being a legal requirement.

“Our study amongst non-chain pubs across the UK found that 15 per cent would not serve customers a 125ml glass of wine and of those that said they would, 29 per cent admitted this measure was not listed anywhere on the menu.”

Under the Licensing Act 2003, still wine in a glass must be offered to customers in a 125ml measure and must be displayed in a menu or price list for customers to clearly see.

The 125ml measure – around one unit of alcohol – used to be the considered as “standard.” But the research has shown that pubs have steadily moved towards serving “standard” glasses of wine in a 175ml or 250ml measures, the latter being a third of a standard bottle of wine.

The research has also shown that one in ten bars use 250ml as their standard size.

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