Wine-loving Britons are being pushed into binge-drinking because of large bottles, says an influential health publication.

Dr Trish Groves, editor of the British Medical Journal, wrote in this week’s issue that the standard 75cl bottle could be responsible for making Britain’s middle classes ‘wasted.’

‘I like a glass of good wine with my supper,’ said Groves. ‘But, once two of us have had a glass each, it’s all too tempting to finish the bottle there and then to avoid waste. Coupled with the news that wine is getting stronger, it’s no wonder Britain’s middle aged middle classes are getting wasted’

Supermarkets should start offering smaller bottles because sharing a 75cl bottle between two people exceeds the government’s recommended limits, she added.

decanter.com has also learned that a new range of small wine bottles will be launched by Waitrose next week.

The fortuitously-timed Vin a Deux range of eight 50cl wines will arrive on store shelves on Monday and more wines may follow.

‘It is something we are looking into,’ said Waitrose spokeswoman Nathalie Heath.

The products are priced between £3.99 and £6.99 – well above the average £4 price for a standard 75cl bottle.

Leading supermarket Tesco said last week that it wants to see a government-led effort to increase alcohol prices in the UK.

Written by Jo Iivonen