Complaints of shallow pours urge D.C. officials to inspect wine size

If you’ve ever left a bar feeling like you overpaid but were under-served, you’re not alone.

Over the past few months, complaints about shallow pours have been flooding into D.C.’s Consumer Office. All over the city, patrons are noticing their wine glasses aren’t as full as they should be.

“You get these huge glasses of wine, huge glasses, and there’s this much wine in them and you’re paying $10 for it. It’s frustrating sometimes,” says Billie Schwetz of Arlington.

Officials are taking those complaints seriously. Recently, inspectors visited several bars on H Street to see if the wine size matches what’s on the menu. D.C. official Helder Gil said the inspection was “intended to educate bar and restaurant owners on the need to ensure their customers are being poured the amount of alcohol being advertised.

D.C. rules state that under-pouring could result in a $2,000 fine, but officials say that won’t happen anytime soon. Officials add that feedback from business owners and staff shows individual inspections are not effective. The Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs plans to suspend its investigation program until a new education program for bar and restaurant owners is implemented.