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Local News

‘Pints’ of wine to be sold in Britain for the first time | UK News

today27/12/2023

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Britons will soon be able to buy a “pint” of wine, with a new 568ml bottle set to appear on supermarket shelves and in pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Pint bottles of champagne were sold in the UK before Britain joined the European Common Market, and remained on shelves until 1973.

However, their production ceased because they did not comply with EU weight and measure rules.

Now, some 900 UK vineyards – which produce 12.2 million bottles of still or sparkling wine a year – are set to benefit from new post-Brexit “freedoms”, the government has said.

The changes will also allow new quantities of both pre-packed still and sparkling wine – in bottles or cans – to be sold in 200ml and 500ml quantities alongside the new 568ml “pint” quantity.

Currently, still wine cannot be sold in 200ml quantities and sparkling wine cannot be sold in 500ml amounts.

The standard size of a bottle of wine sold in supermarkets, off-licences, pubs and bars is 750ml. Legally, pubs must sell wine in small (125ml), medium (175ml) or large (250ml) glass sizes.

There will be no legal obligation for businesses to sell the new sizes.

WineGB chief executive Nicola Bates said: “We welcome the chance to be able to harmonise still and sparkling bottle sizes and we are happy to raise a glass to the greater choice.”

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, said: “Our exit from the EU was all about moments just like this, where we can seize new opportunities and provide a real boost to our great British wineries and further growing the economy.”

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Alcohol duty shake-up explained

UK rejects return to imperial system

The changes have been introduced following a government consultation on units of measurement, which was published in June last year and received more than 100,000 responses.

The consultation also considered government proposals to remove the requirement to show metric units alongside imperial or allow them to be shown in less prominence.

In 2000, the European Union weights and measures directive forced UK traders to use metric when selling packaged or loose goods such as fruit and veg. They could still use pounds and ounces but must also list grams and kilos, except for a few items.

The government’s consultation was branded “complete and utter nonsense” by one supermarket boss.

And it seemed the rest of the UK agreed – the Department for Business and Trade found 98.7% of people were in favour of continuing to use metric units when buying or selling products.

In the metric system, 1,000 grams are equivalent to one kilogram, yet under the imperial system there are 14 pounds in a stone and 16 ounces in a pound. 1 imperial pound is 453.592g. As for liquids, there are 20 fluid ounces in a pint and 160 fluid ounces in a gallon, instead of metric’s 1,000 millilitres in a litre.



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