BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 11:03 GMT
MP calls for smaller wine glasses
Man drinking wine
"Small" wine measures are getting bigger in many pubs
Pubs, bars and restaurants should be forced to start selling smaller glasses of wine again, an MP says.

Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland is to propose a bill in the House of Commons calling for the reinstatement of traditional 125ml measures.

The MP for Leeds North West argues that larger glasses are making customers "less aware of how many units of alcohol they are drinking".

Many licensed premises only sell wine in 175ml and 250ml measures.

'Half a pint'

Mr Mulholland's bill would amend weights and measures legislation to make all bars, pubs, clubs and licensed restaurants offer the 125ml measure.

The MP, a Lib Dem health spokesman, said: "In the last few years there has been a deliberate move by many bar and pub companies to phase out the traditional standard size 125ml glass of wine, and only sell the larger 175ml and 250ml size.

"In the latter case this is almost half a pint of wine."

He added: "The result inevitably has been that wine drinkers are less aware of how many units of alcohol they are drinking when they have 'a few of glasses of wine'.

"This is a real concern at a time when the figures show that alcohol related health problems are increasing, including women who drink the majority of wine purchased in bars and pubs."

Data published by the Office for National Statistics last week suggests men drink an average of 18.7 units of alcohol a week, compared with 9.0 units for women.

Some 21% of men and 11% of women had drunk on at least five of the seven days before the survey of about 16,500 households was carried out.

Here are a selection of your comments on whether smaller glasses of wine should be offered:

My wife and I have recently started to use smaller wine glasses at home. We have found that this helps our enjoyment and a bottle shared can now last the whole meal and allow us to sip at the table after the food it consumed. Reduces intake and encourages a more pleasant overall experience.
Ray, Washington DC

Here's an idea, if you personally think you are drinking too much, drink less. And let the rest of us get on with making our own decisions as responsible adults
Nicola Spink, York

Our wine glasses hold 125 ml I have just measured them. If you fill them to the brim you can just squeeze in another 80ml.
Inge, London

The customer should have the choice of measure, including 125ml. I am most distressed when I go into a restaurant and order wine by the glass to match each course. I find I am forced to drink copious amounts out of vulgar large glasses. I don't want to bathe in the stuff, just massage my delicate palate with fine wine.
Charlie, Cambridge

Definitely. The food/drink industry's 'supersizing' marketing strategies are partly what's driving over consumption
Simon Ross, London, UK

Oh for heaven's sake. What next? Smaller plates?
Neil, Hammersmith

I don't like the idea of force, or compulsion. It might be a better idea to change the labelling, so instead of 250ml, it says Approx 3 Units - assuming a reasonable norm of about 12% by volume. I've noticed increasingly that more alcoholic beverages purchased in shops are doing this, maybe we could extend it to all drinks in pubs - how many units are in that pint you just quaffed...
Eddie, Edinburgh

As someone who is suffering from a hangover this morning, solely due to the fact that I was sold huge glasses of red wine last night, I'd welcome this change. Does anyone know a good hangover cure?
Hannah, London

After 30 years as a licensee I have a good understanding about the reasons for selling in large glasses and they all boil down to profit. A lady in a group will drink her 250ml of wine as quick as a 175 in order to keep up with her friends, after the first one inhibitions disappear.
Roy Plews, Peterborough UK

We're all adults and should be left to regulate our own alcohol consumption. If people wanted thimble sized glasses of wine, they would ask for them, and pubs would respond to market forces. Pubs sell big glasses because that's what people want. What next - a ban on beer over 4%? A limit of one drink per hour?
Andy Nield, Staplehurst, Kent

Yes we should definitely go back to smaller measures. I have lots of friends who think 2 glasses leaves them OK to drive without them stopping to think about the volume each glass contains, so in actual fact they are over the limit.
Lindsay Treasure, Milton Keynes, UK

I agree - 250 ml is a third of a bottle and a ridiculous amount in one glass. Smaller glasses and proportional prices. It won't stop me from drinking half a bottle but it will be at a more reasonable pace.
Louise Weale, London

Yes, because you don't really know how many units you are having
Lucy Rapson, Leamington Spa

Grow up! I can't imagine there is a single household in Britain with 125ml wine glasses, why should drinking out be different? Nanny state anyone?
Tim, Sutton

A very sensible idea. Some Cardiff City centre pub/restaurants say that their "standard" measure is 250ml. And they wont sell anything smaller.
Les, Cardiff

Leave pub measures alone. We like large glasses of wine. The consumer has a choice of large or small measures - stop dictating to us
Lynn Stephenson, Doncaster

I never find myself counting how many units i consume on a Friday night to begin with. So smaller glasses will make no difference to will only mean i have to make my trip to the bar twice as many times.
Vikki, Hampshire, UK

No, no and no again. This is another example of an MP wanting to control all our lives. Surely a better thing would be to update the unit of alcohol measure to that of a 175ml glass rather than force what he is proposing, that way people would know job done...
Alan Bocutt, Worthing

I agree. The size of modern wine glasses has become quite ridiculous. You could bathe a small dog in some of them if one were so inclined. Also, it takes so long to finish one of these huge glasses of wine that the wine has become warm from all the handling.
Dan, Leamington Spa, UK

Sounds like a good idea - cheaper rounds for us fellas.
Ian B, London

What next? Restrictions on the portion sizes of cheesecake? A prohibition of servings of tea with more than 2 sugars? At what point did we give the government our authority to control such aspects of our lives? I work hard, obey the law and pay my taxes. I demand the right to do what I like with my free time. And if that means consuming a large glass of wine of a Friday evening then so be it.
Jeffrey Marshall, York

Men 'drink far more than women'
22 Jan 08 |  Health

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific