Updated on January 24, 2023
The practice of serving wine by the glass is becoming more and more widespread. It is therefore subject to regulations in order to control abuses and preserve the quality of the product while protecting producers, merchants and consumers.
To sell wine by the glass, you need a license III, called "restricted license" for bars or "small restaurant license". In a few words, this license allows you to sell non-distilled fermented beverages: wines, beers, ciders...
Good to know: it used to be the license II, merged with the license III in 2015. The licenses II valid at the time have therefore automatically become licenses III.
For more information about the licenses needed to sell alcohol, you can refer to our article dedicated to this subject.
The law on wine by the glass indicates that the wine list must follow certain rules. Indeed, it must clearly indicate the origin of each bottle, the exact capacity served and the price of the wine. This is what article 16 of the law of July 30, 1935 indicates:
"Art.16 - In bars, buffets, restaurants and, in general, in all establishments where beverages are sold for consumption on the premises or to take away, the capacity of the bottles other than wine is indicated. take away, the capacity of the bottles other than of origin, carafes, flasks, glasses and other containers in service, must be engraved on the containers themselves, expressed in liters, deciliters or centiliters."
Thus, the rigor of the card is the same as that of a wine list by the bottle. Any violation of this law may be punished by a prison sentence of up to two years and a maximum fine of €37,500.
Serving wine by the glass raises the question of capacity: how much should be served?
Article 16 of the law of July 30, 1935 stipulates that the wine glass must indicate its capacity in centiliters or deciliters. Thus, you must make sure that the capacity of each glass is indicated in a visible place. This will reassure the customer as to the quantity of the drink served: he can check if it corresponds to the volume indicated on the card.
To know how much wine to serve to the customer, you should consider the price of the glass, the quality of the wine, its reference... You have to juggle between too much and not enough. Be careful not to serve too much wine, which would cause the blood alcohol level to exceed that authorized by the highway code. One of the advantages of wine by the glass is that it can be measured. Second, the wine-loving customer should be satisfied with the amount of wine offered in a single glass.
Wine glasses generally have a capacity between 8 cl and 14 cl.
We will retain two essential rules, established by the DGCCRF, to respect the law when serving wine by the glass. It is absolutely necessary :
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