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  • A Glass Of Wine Vs. The Standard Drink | Why The Amount Matters

    Published on September 8, 2021
    How Many Ounces In A Glass Of Wine | Why The Amount Matters

    There are five ounces of wine in a standard drink of wine. A standard drink is an alcoholic drink that has 14 grams of pure alcohol. A five-ounce glass of wine with a 12% alcohol content by volume (ABV) meets this mark.

    12% ABV is the average alcohol content for wine, but different wines may have different alcohol contents. The amount of wine in a standard serving size may vary between wines.

    Five ounces of wine may not be the amount you get when you go wine drinking or wine tasting at a restaurant or winery. Knowing the alcohol content of the wine you drink can help you control your alcohol intake and avoid health problems.

    Alcohol Content Of Different Types Of Wine

    The average alcohol content of wine is about 12% but can range anywhere from 5% to nearly 25%. By comparison, standard beer tends to be about 5% alcohol, while spirits such as vodka are about 40% alcohol.

    The strengths of different wines can depend on factors like the grapes used to make the wine or the wine region the product was made in. Sweeter grapes make wines with higher alcohol contents, and sweeter grapes tend to come from places with warmer weather.

    Wine may also be sold in magnum wine bottles. These larger wine bottle sizes come in at 1.5 liters, which is twice the amount of a standard 750 ml bottle of wine. A magnum wine bottle can help a larger party drink more wine, but it’s likely dangerous to drink on your own.

    Low ABV Wines

    Weaker wine starts out at about 5% ABV. For red wines, lighter-colored wines likely have lower alcohol content and vice versa. These types of wine may have a similar alcohol content as a standard drink that has 12 ounces of beer.

    Popular low ABV wines include:

    • Moscato (5%-9% ABV)
    • Riesling (8% ABV)
    • Lambrusco (8% ABV)

    Some sommeliers (wine professionals) say low alcohol wine does not go above 10% alcohol, while others say 15% is the limit.

    Though these wines are lower in alcohol content, this does not mean it is safe to drink multiple glasses of wine at once. Even having two or more glasses of low ABV wine per day may be a form of unhealthy alcohol consumption.

    Medium ABV Wines

    Medium ABV wines are usually in the 10%-15% ABV range. Red wines in this range have a darker color, and a pour size closer to five ounces may be needed to meet the standard drink limit.

    Medium ABV wines include:

    • Pinot Noir (11%-15% ABV)
    • Rosé (12% ABV)
    • Cabaret Sauvignon (13.5% ABV)
    • Chardonnay (13.5% ABV)

    High ABV Wines

    High ABV wines are made by fortifying, or when a spirit is added to wine to increase its alcohol content. They are also known as dessert wines, which are usually sweet and served after a meal.

    Wines in this category may need less than a five-ounce pour to meet the alcohol needed for one standard drink. High ABV wines have an ABV of 15% or higher and include:

    • Sherry (15%-22% ABV)
    • Zinfandel (16% ABV)
    • Marsala (15%-20% ABV)

    Why A Serving Of Wine Matters

    While five ounces of wine may be seen as a standard glass of wine, this does not apply to all types of wine. Five fluid ounces of Rosé is not the same alcohol content as five fluid ounces of Sherry or Zinfandel.

    Additionally, a standard wine glass holds more than five fluid ounces. Standard white wine glass holds about 12 fluid ounces, while a standard red wine glass holds between 12 to 14.  What counts as a standard wine pours for one type of wine can be too much for another.


    Bartenders or waiters may also give you too much wine by overpouring it. Overpouring can be costly to the winery, as they are giving out more wine than you paid for with a standard pour.

    More importantly, it can be dangerous to you if you drink more than the recommended serving size.

    Health Problems Caused By Drinking Too Much Wine

    Moderate wine drinking is sometimes linked to health benefits, like improved heart health. However, drinking too much wine can lead to problems, just like drinking other kinds of alcohol.

    Too much alcohol can be harmful to your liver, your digestive system, your heart, and your mental health. Drinking too much for too long can make it hard to quit.

    If you want to quit drinking but do not know where to start, help is out there. To find the best treatment program for you, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Facts about moderate drinking
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - What Is A Standard Drink?
    Wine Folly - Wine: From the Lightest to the Strongest​​​

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