This Is What a Serving of Wine Actually Looks Like

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This Is What a Serving of Wine Actually Looks Like

If you’re accustomed to coming home at night, whipping out a giant wine glass and filling it up to the tippity top with your favorite Pinot, then you’re probably going to be disappointed the next time you order some vino at a bar or restaurant. Though we’d all like to believe otherwise, an actual serving of wine isn’t very big. In fact, it’s only 5 ounces, and depending on the type of glass you’re using, that can look really small. “Oftentimes, people are shocked when they see a proper pour of wine,” sommelier Victoria James, wine director at New York restaurant Piora, tells SELF.

“At home,” she continues, “you’re probably pouring yourself 7 to 9 ounces, and, let’s be honest, you’re probably having more than just one.”

Over-pouring is a problem that is especially common if your favorite wine glass is a large one. Now, you’re probably wondering, why can’t all wine glasses just be the same damn size? Why all the red-glass, white-glass tomfoolery? Well, James explains that wine glasses come in many shapes and sizes for a reason. Different glasses are designed to accentuate the different flavors and aromas of different wines.

For example, she says that a flute is good for Champagne because it keeps the bubbles in the glass for longer, while the larger, more open rim on a standard wine glass will allow you to, “get your nose in and appreciate the complex aromatics.” And, aside from that flute, the majority of these glasses can accommodate a lot more than a single 5-ounce serving. And that’s where things can tend to get tricky in the over-pouring department.

A glass of wine with dinner can be a great way to unwind at the end of a stressful day. Too many glasses, on the other hand, can mess with your sleep and stack on the calories, which can get in the way of any weight loss goals you may have. A single serving of wine, whether it be red, white, rosé, or bubbly, will have between 105 and 125 calories, and, if you’re over-pouring, those calories can add up quickly.

If you’re actually interested in paring down your pour of wine, there are a couple things you should know. In a standard 750-mL bottle of wine, there are roughly five glasses of wine. This means that with each serving, you’ll want to aim to pour yourself one-fifth of the bottle. If you’re in need of a visual aid, we’ve got just what you need. The graphic below demonstrates what 5 ounces of wine actually looks like in six different glasses. File it away and never wonder how much you’re drinking again.


About the Author

SELF is the ultimate wellness resource and community. We recognize that wellness is as much about self-expression and self-esteem as it is about exercise and nutrition; that it’s not an all-or-nothing lifestyle; and that every person’s individual goals for healthy living are different, and that’s OK. We’re here to celebrate, motivate, support, inform and entertain you—and make you laugh, too. Join the conversation and catch the latest SELF news, recipes, advice, laughs and more on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.



16 responses to “This Is What a Serving of Wine Actually Looks Like”

  1. Avatar Lane G. Weinman says:

    At home I always pour using my digital kitchen scale. It gives me an accurate calorie measurement. Of course after a few pours you begin to know just where to stop, which comes in handy when visiting friends and family.

  2. Avatar Ruth says:

    I bought some plastic wine glasses down at my local Dollar Store. I actually measured out five and eight ounce portions, poured them into my cups and marked exactly where 5 to 8 ounces are with a black permanent marker so I never over pour. This helps me stay on track with calories for the day!

  3. Avatar Charley says:

    Serving size is basically the root cause to my weight issues. It had controlled me until I thoroughly committed to my fitness pal a couple of years ago.

    Thanks for this important reminder!

    • Avatar DaBoss says:

      My fitness pal is a winner. I have a new Garmin Fenix 3 and I have linked it to MFP and my Fitbit Aria scale. There is no hiding now!

  4. Avatar Brian C says:

    8oz or 235ml =160cals of red Dry merlot. So roughly it will cost you 500cals to have a bottle of red. More then enough cals left in the day to maintain weight, and curb hunger. Drink up!!

  5. Avatar Freeman says:

    Because there’s nothing quite like relaxing at the end of the day with 3 or 4 sips of wine…

    Seriously, I’d rather just go without for 4 days then enjoy the bottle on the 5th!

  6. Avatar ChrisS says:

    Great article, but as you have an international audience, please could you also provide your measurements in the metric “millilitres (ml)” as well as the US “fluid ounce”, like you do in your fantastic app..

    PS In the UK a small glass of wine would be considered to be 125 ml (approx. 4.25 fl.oz.), a medium glass would be 175 ml (approx. 6 fl.oz.) and a large glass would be 250 ml (approx. 8.4 fl.oz.).

    • Avatar Angelo says:

      this is 2017 you can simply google fl oz to ml and you have a converter right there dont be lazy

      • Avatar MorskaDeklica says:

        Because it makes so much sense that everybody who´s not from US should google it instead of one author put it to the article …

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    • Avatar Bernard Rother says:

      I’m surprised people / countries are still in the dark ages with those imperial measurements. Good heavens. That’s soooo retro. We switched from imperial to metric decades ago… was the best move ever.

  7. Avatar Jimmy NoChit says:

    I consider a ‘serving’ as whatever amount I happen to consume at any given sitting.

  8. Avatar Wino512 says:

    The wine glass industry has gone to great lengths to make measuring wine simple. Every wine glass with a curved side is designed to hold one serving where the concave and convex meet. No need to measure.

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