How Much is a Serving of Wine?

If you drink wine on a regular basis you will know how much a serving of wine is but if you are new to wine, you may be unsure. Is every serving of wine the same size or does it vary?

In this article, we will be taking a look at how much wine you should get in a serving, whether you are in a restaurant or bar or at home, and pointing out how important it is to know how much you are pouring.

Is There a Standard Size of Wine Serving?

The simple answer is yes there is and it is 5 fluid oz or approximately 150 ml. This is the size that you will be served more often than not in a restaurant or bar although, of course, some establishments may serve different measures. 

However, although 5 fluid oz is the standard wine pour, there are other factors that will affect the standard wine serving. These are the ABV or the alcohol by volume in the wine, the size of the glass, and the occasion.

We’ll take a look at each of these factors.

How Much is a Serving of Wine According to ABV?

ABV determines the alcohol percentage of an alcoholic drink or, in other words, the ethanol content. 

The average ABV of wine is 12% but it can go as low as 5.5% for a wine such as Moscato d’Asti and 20% for a fortified wine like Port. In general, we are looking at wine being between 10% and 14%.

When you buy a bottle of wine, you should look at the label to see what the ABV is to ensure that you are getting the amount of alcohol you want.  

Remember that wine has a higher ABV than beer so you are likely to feel the effects of the alcohol quicker than a person who drinks beer. The average ABV of beer is 5% but light beers will be less and craft beers more. 

On the other hand, spirits have a higher ABV than wine. Spirits have, on average, an ABV of 40%.

When it comes to a serving of wine and ABV, the serving size should relate to the ABV. Basically, if the ABV is low, you can serve more wine. If it is high, you should serve less. For example, if the wine is below 12% ABV, you can serve 6 fluid oz.

However, you should serve less if the ABV is above 12%. An ideal serving is between 3 and 4 fluid oz. This will stop you from getting drunk too quickly. It is much better to drink slowly and steadily.

If you are serving a fortified wine such as port, then you should stick to 3 fluid oz as it has a high ABV of around 20%.

The choice is yours when it comes to ABV. If you prefer more alcohol in your drink, choose a wine with around 14%. If not, there are plenty of wines around 11%.

How Much is a Serving of Wine According to Glass Size?

There are many different sizes of wine glasses as you no doubt know. Red wine is generally poured into a larger glass than white wine. Then there are champagne flutes and dessert wine glasses. No size fits all and you need to have a big enough glass.

For example, f you have a glass that holds 5 fluid oz, you can’t pour a 6 fluid oz measure. In addition, you want to have enough room to swirl the wine in the glass. Swirling the wine releases the wine bouquet, separating the aromas and enriching your smelling and tasting experience. 

Here is a list we have prepared which tells you about the ideal measurements for one serving.

Type of Wine Glass            Fluid oz That it Can Hold            Ideal Fluid oz Measurement

Red wine glass                          8 – 22 fluid oz                                         5 fluid oz

White wine glass                      8 – 12 fluid oz                                         5 fluid oz

Champagne flute                     5 – 8 fluid oz                                            3 -4 fluid oz

Dessert wine glass                  4 – 8 fluid oz                                           2 -3 fluid oz 

Hock wine glass                      8 fluid oz                                                  6 – 7 fluid oz

Of course, we are not telling you how much to drink. We are just giving you the ideal measures so that you can keep a clear head.

It is a good idea to buy glasses with measurements on them if you can find them. Otherwise, you will have to use a measuring jug. Over time, you will come to know what the measures are in different glasses without having to measure them. 

How Much is a Serving of Wine According to Occasion?

Servings of wine can vary as to when you drink them. You might be at a wine tasting, a restaurant or bar, a dinner party, or just at home. Let’s take a look at all of these.

Wine Tastings

Wine tastings have become very popular, especially with more and more wineries opening their doors to the public. You can tour the winery followed by a tasting of around 5 varieties.

If you have been to a wine tasting, you will know that you only get small measures of each wine. This is because you are being served multiple wines. The average serving is 2 fluid oz but if you have five samples then you will be having 10 fluid oz in total so that’s 2 glasses.

You may feel a little dizzy after a tasting or not, depending on how used you are to wine. Some wineries will, however, serve less so that you buy a glass of your favorite after the tasting.

Many wineries will serve snacks to go with the samples which are either complementary or at extra cost. It is always a good idea to eat when you drink alcohol. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar but food helps to stabilize this. 

Restaurants and Bars

The average serving of wine in restaurants and bars is between 5 and 6 fluid oz. Many bars will offer either a small or large glass of wine. Keep in mind that a large glass will probably contain half as much again so you could be getting 8 fluid oz.

Dinner Parties

Dinner parties can be difficult. Some guests may expect the wine to be flowing but you don’t want your guests to get drunk too quickly and not enjoy the banter around the table. Because of this, 4 fluid oz is the ideal measurement.

This means that you should get about 6 glasses out of a bottle of wine. You probably want to serve your guests a decent wine, so you don’t want them to down it too quickly. Ensure that the bottle is finished before you bring out another one.  

At Home

You might not think much about serving size when drinking wine at home but you should otherwise you could get through a bottle in no time at all. We suggest that you stick to the 5 fluid oz serving size and measure it out rather than guess.

By doing this, you should get just over 4 glasses of wine out of the bottle which is fine if you’re sharing but not so good if you are drinking on your own. If you drink too much, it can harm your health. 

The Reasons For Pouring the Right Measure of Wine

There’s nothing stopping you from pouring a large glass of wine or even drinking the whole bottle unless you are driving. If you drive under the influence of alcohol, at the least, you could lose your license and be fined, while at the worst, you could take someone’s life.

However, even if you’re not driving, drinking too much can seriously affect your health and you can end up with liver damage which may not be reversible.

Another reason for pouring measured servings is that wine contains calories that will add to your daily intake. If you drink too much, you can put on weight. 

What Amount of Wine Should You Drink in One Day?

Yes, you can safely drink wine every day but the question is how much? According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, women should only drink a glass a day while men can drink up to 2 glasses.

We know that this won’t always be adhered to. You might be going to a celebratory party and drinking more. If so, take a couple of days off from drinking alcohol afterward. 

If you are pregnant, you shouldn’t drink at all as it can adversely affect your baby’s health. The same goes if you breastfeed when the baby has been born. The alcohol goes into the baby’s system and can cause behavioral problems as the child grows up.

In addition, the mother can miscarry, or the baby can be born too early.

Is It Best to Buy a Glass of Wine or a Bottle in a Restaurant?

This is an important question. If you are on your own, you will probably order a glass at a time but if there are two of you, it is much more sensible and economical to buy a bottle, even if you don’t finish it.

This is because a bar or restaurant will charge about 85% of the bottle for just a glass. Sometimes, they might charge more. They have to make a profit after all but you too can make a saving.

In a bar, they work on the premise that you are going to order by the glass but in a restaurant, they expect you to order a bottle. Because of this, a bottle in a restaurant may be more expensive than in a bar.

However, with all this in mind, it is still more economical to buy a bottle of wine. 

Final Thoughts

When pouring a glass of wine, there are three things you need to consider. These are the ABV of the wine, the size of the glass, and the occasion you are drinking it.

This will ascertain how much wine you should pour but 5 fluid oz is the average size of a serving so try to stick to thois if you can.  

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