If you want something of high value you can enjoy it in small measures. It is especially true when it comes to top vintages of rare wines. In fact Dawn Davies of Selfridges offered fine wines in a tiny 25ml measure at the store’s Wonder Bar till the council inspectors stopped her quoting the 1988 Weights and Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Order, specifying that wine can only be sold in 125ml, 175ml and 250ml glasses. Dawn Davies fought for five years to get the law amended and ultimately the Government’s National Measurement Office gave in to her suggestions.
Selfridges has resumed selling wine in the sip measure which is just a fifth of a normal small glass of wine. The prices start from £1 and can go up to £32 for 25ml of prized Château Pétrus. Ms Davies believes that it is a positive step by the government for the drinks industry which they had been neglecting for a long time. She worked earlier for The Square and The Ledbury and remembers when she had to discontinue the sip in 2007. The law was archaic and was being implemented blindly without factoring in the completely changed scenario.
Ms Davies had received support from Jamie Hutchinson, co-founder of The Sampler, a wine merchant with branches in Islington and South Kensington, to launch a campaign to change the legislation. The amended law effectively enables the pubs and restaurants to sell wine in any measure they like below 75ml. The wonder bar has a small sips list at the moment that includes Chablis 1er Cru, Vaillons, Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils and Réserve de Comtesse from Pauillac. With the restrictions lifted they are expected to add more expensive vintage wines over the coming weeks.