What a healthy serving of wine actually looks like

Flickr | smallkaa

Have you ever ordered a glass of wine at a restaurant and been a little disappointed with the amount in your glass? You’re not alone, but it turns out the restaurant is right on target when it comes to proper serving sizes. If you start measuring your own wine pours, you might be in for a surprise!

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are very clear: one serving of wine is 5 ounces.

Blogger Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point investigated just what 5 ounces of pinot noir looks like. As a new mother used to measuring ounces in bottles, she grabbed one and poured. The results were a little sad!

Healthy Tipping Point

She wrote, “This may explain why I’ve been waking up with a slight hangover – I prefer those bigger glasses and definitely overfill them. Now I know the imaginary ‘line’ that I should be aiming for when I savor my favorite reds.”

Laura Smarandescu, formerly a marketing professor at Iowa State University, told USA Today that overpouring is a common problem. She published research that shows people tend to pour more wine when they’re using a wider glass. “Especially when they buy a bottle of wine, it’s less clear how much each person consumes,” Smarandescu said. “And when people pour on top of wine still in a glass, that bias increases by a lot.”

But just because your glass is less full doesn’t mean you get to refill it more often. The guidelines recommend a maximum of one drink per day for women, and two for men.

If you’re not a wine drinker, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! The dietary guidelines say one drink is also 1.5 ounces of liquor (at 80 proof or 40 percent alcohol) or 12 ounces of beer (at 5 percent alcohol). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created this nifty chart for those who want to know what a daily alcohol intake looks like based upon their favorite beverage:


And if you find that you can’t believe your eyes as you’re pouring, you can always buy a wine glass that has marks along the side for measuring purposes.


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About the Author
Haley Otman
Haley Otman is a news and features writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she roots for the University of Michigan Wolverines. A former broadcast news producer, Haley has 10 years of writing experience and has worked in both journalism and public relations.

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