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Bob Ross

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Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:12 am

A friend just back from London mentioned that she had seen only two sizes of wine glasses in pubs -- 175ml (1/4 of a bottle) and 250ml (1/3 of a bottle). She said there was some adverse discussion about the 250ml size -- apparently designed for younger people and large portions, therefore encouraging drinking too much.

I am pretty regular at only two or three wine bars -- Franklin Lakes and NYC -- but haven't seen the larger size. Has it invaded the US?

Regards, Bob
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Robin Garr » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:18 am

Bob Ross wrote:A friend just back from London mentioned that she had seen only two sizes of wine glasses in pubs -- 175ml (1/4 of a bottle) and 250ml (1/3 of a bottle). She said there was some adverse discussion about the 250ml size -- apparently designed for younger people and large portions, therefore encouraging drinking too much.

I am pretty regular at only two or three wine bars -- Franklin Lakes and NYC -- but haven't seen the larger size. Has it invaded the US?


Bob, perhaps Peter May can advise us ... I recall he's mentioned UK regulations governing the size of wine-tasting portions and, I believe, requiring that restaurants (and wine bars?) serve only specific sizes. Obviously the US has nothing similar.

In terms of practice, the better wine bars around here use good-size Riedel glasses but pour a rational serving in the bottom, allowing all that capacity for swirling.

On the other hand, I've heard lots of in-the-business tales from restaurants in the range where wine by the glass is more of an alcohol-delivery system than a wine-geek pursuit, and there they generally pour smaller glasses brim-full lest the clientele object to short service.
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Peter May

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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Peter May » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:11 pm

Robin Garr wrote:

Bob, perhaps Peter May can advise us ..



Alcohol when sold in other than its container* has to be in approved sizes which for wine are 125ml, 175ml and multiples off.

The standard wine measure is 125ml (one sixth of a bottle), but in London bars 175ml is common, and 250ml comming up fast. Customerss are usually asked if they want a small or large glass -- large being 250ml.

There is a line marked on the glass with a certifying number and a crown symbol. If a non-certified glass is used, the wine should be measured in a certified measure first.

There have been suggestions that large measures encourage drunkenness, but the crush and sheer effort of getting served in busy bars seems to me the main reason people order them.

In places where measures are not regulated I have experienced wide variation in what a 'glass' means, even in succesive measures in the same establishment

*You'll have noticed the € symbol on bottles that certifies its size. UK has an exception for draught beer which is sold in imperial pint measures.
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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Bob Ross » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:59 pm

I see that Jancis Robinson has taken up the attack on the 250 size, Peter. In a recent Purple Page note, she endorses a campaign for the return of the 125 size -- but in a large glass to enhance aromas -- arguing that the 250 has become the "norm".

My memory is that glasses in European wine bars tend to be much smaller than in England. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Ian Sutton » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:15 pm

In Italy there's generally an attitude of having large glasses with smaller measures in (in the wine bars and wine focussed ristoranti that is). Tourist restaurants and trattorie tend to have the usual goblets )and even tumblers) though.

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Otto

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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Otto » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:44 pm

Peter May wrote:
Alcohol when sold in other than its container* has to be in approved sizes which for wine are 125ml, 175ml and multiples off.


And here I though Finland's alcohol laws were stupid. But at least we're allowed to buy even 4cl tasting samples - I believe all restaurants are required to sell this amount and any multiple of it if serving wines by glasses rather than as full bottles only. Most restaurants discourage this though, but there are a few with such good sales by glass that they gladly sell such small amounts. Carelia in Helsinki being one. Considering how often I'm praising Carelia, I should say that I have no connections, blah blah.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Peter May » Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:55 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
And here I though Finland's alcohol laws were stupid. But at least we're allowed to buy even 4cl tasting samples - I believe all restaurants are required to sell this amount and any multiple of it if serving wines by glasses rather than as full bottles only.


I see it as enlightened, not stupid.

4cl is barely adequate as a tasting measure, and I can't envisage buying tasting sizes in a restaurant, or a restaurant keeping wine I'd want to pay to taste in good condition for 18 pours.

But you raise a question in my mind about the arrangement for tasting at wineries where a tasting fee is charged.
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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Peter May » Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:56 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
And here I though Finland's alcohol laws were stupid. But at least we're allowed to buy even 4cl tasting samples - I believe all restaurants are required to sell this amount and any multiple of it if serving wines by glasses rather than as full bottles only.


I see it as enlightened, not stupid.

4cl is barely adequate as a tasting measure, and I can't envisage buying tasting sizes in a restaurant, or a restaurant keeping wine I'd want to pay to taste in good condition for 18 pours.

But you raise a question in my mind about the arrangement for tasting at wineries where a tasting fee is charged.
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Re: Wine glass sizes at wine bar?

by Peter May » Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:07 pm

Bob Ross wrote:I see that Jancis Robinson has taken up the attack on the 250 size, Peter. In a recent Purple Page note, she endorses a campaign for the return of the 125 size -- but in a large glass to enhance aromas -- arguing that the 250 has become the "norm".



I don't get PP. I can't get in a tizz about 25cl glasses; people who want to get drunk won't be deterred by having to order another glass.

I'd rather argue for wine in bars to be sold in individual serving small bottles, rather than poured from a bottle that has been opened for goodness how long.

Pubs in Ireland and South Africa do it succesfully. (another bonus is they're sealed with a screwcap -- but thats another discussion ;)

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