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Our Responsibility

As the UK's leading specialist wine retailer, we take responsible retailing of alcohol very seriously. We are committed  to maximising alcohol awareness for the benefit of our customers and our employees.

How much is too much?

The government advises that people should not regularly drink more than 14 units per week - this applies to both men and women. 14 units is equivalent to a bottle and a half of wine or five pints of export-type lager (5% abv).

You shouldn't interpret the guidance as allowing you to "save up" your units so you can drink them all on a Friday night - if you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more.

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What is a unit?

The size and strength of your drink will determine the number of units it contains. It's not quite as simple as one drink, one unit - a glass of wine can range between just over one unit and more than three units depending on the size of the glass and type of wine.

Remember, when you're drinking at home, you tend to pour measures that are larger than you get in your local.

UNIT CALCULATOR

Alcohol and the Law

The law on alcohol covers such areas as underage drinking, drink driving and drinking in public places. The full facts can be found on the DrinkAware website.

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Effects of Alcohol

On the DrinkAware website you'll find useful clinically approved facts and information about the effects of alcohol on your life and lifestyle designed to help you make positive decisions about your drinking.

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Calories in Alcohol

Due to the nature of how alcoholic drinks are made, by fermenting and distilling natural starch and sugar, each alcoholic drink contains a number of calories.

Each alcohol type varies in the number of calories it contains, but some can contain as many as what's in a slice of pizza. The Drinkaware website holds information about the number of calories that can be found in alcohol and also has a handy guide which tells you approximately how many calories can be found in a wide range of alcoholic drinks.

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Our Commitment


  • We do not sell alcohol to anyone that we believe to be intoxicated.

  • We operate a Challenge 25 policy in our stores and on delivered sales, always asking for a recognised form of ID when we have reason to believe that the customer or person receiving goods may be under the age of 25.

  • We do not sell alcohol to customers whom we suspect of passing alcohol to under 18s.

  • We do not offer any incentives to our customers to drink irresponsibly.

  • We support the Portman Group's Code of Practice regarding the responsible naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks.

  • Our staff have easy access to information about alcohol by volume (ABV) and alcohol units, for customers' benefit as well as their own.

  • Water or soft drinks are always available free of charge at any of our tastings.

  • We encourage our customers to use spittoons during store tastings, both through clear signage at our 'Tasting Counters' and through staff example.

Leading Industry Standards

We believe that our industry can and should work together to promote the responsible enjoyment of alcohol and that collectively, we can positively change the nation's relationship with alcohol.

We are an active member of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Every year, we sponsor the large majority of new staff through WSET qualifications. The examination for this always covers course content on the principles of alcohol and social responsibility.

We are a major supporter and funder of the Drinkaware trust, an independent, public-facing body with the objective of changing the UK's drinking habits for the better.