A Birmingham-based online wine shop has become the first company to offer Braille tagging on all its bottles.
Passion Wines believe that there is a significant section of the British public whose potential to enjoy wine is hampered by their inability to distinguish between bottles.
Passion Wines director Philip Holt said, ‘like everyone else, the visually impaired enjoy their wine’. He points out that there are 2m visually impaired people registered in the UK. Five to ten per cent of these are ‘profoundly blind’.
Passion Wines became aware of how difficult it is for the visually impaired to enjoy wine when they held a tasting at Birmingham’s Queen Alexandra’s College, a specialist school for the blind. Many of those present were being held back from buying wine simply because they had no idea what was on the label.
Since then, Passion Wines have been working with Queen Alexandra’s School to improve wine retailing for the visually impaired. All 600 of the both New and Old World wines offered by Passion Wines can be ordered on a specialist audio website, passionwines.co.uk.
While Rhone producer Chapoutier introduced Braille labels in 1997, and UK supermarket Co-op was the first retailer to use Braille labels on its own brand spirits, no other company has yet offered Braille tagging on all its merchandise.
Written by Ettie Neil-Gallacher