Selfridges has been forced to scrap the centrepiece of its new Wonder Bar after it discovered that the 25ml and 75ml measures of wine being offered contravened weights and measures legislation.
The bar, which opened at the retailer's Oxford Street store in London in May, featured a "wine jukebox" that gave customers the chance to choose from 52 fine wines in three measures: 25ml, 75ml and 125ml.
But after the bar was featured in Caterer (5 July, page 34), trading standards officials visited Selfridges and informed managers that it was breaking the 1988 Weights and Measures (Intoxicating Liquor) Order.
The law was amended in 1995 when buying wine by the glass became popular, but it stipulated that wine must be served only in 125ml and 175ml measures.
Dawn Davies, sommelier at Selfridges, called on the Government to scrap the "crazy" legislation. "Since the moment we opened the Wonder Bar customers have been enjoying the chance to savour the fruits of the world's vineyards through buying a sip of some amazing wines," she said. "Now we have discovered that this seemingly innocent pleasure is actually illegal. This is a crazy piece of legislation that needs changing."
By Amanda Afiya