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Standard Wine, Champagne, and Liquor Pours: A Guide to Standard Pours

November 27, 2019
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Liquor—and especially wine—can lower pour costs and be ridiculously profitable. If you're sticking to standard pours.

What Is a Standard Pour?

A standard pour is what is typically provided to guests at bars and restaurants when liquor, wine, or champagne is ordered. Its size depends on the type of alcohol and drink ordered. It’s typically 1.5 fluid ounces for 80 proof liquor, 5 fluid ounces for wine, and 4 fluid ounces for champagne.

Standard Liquor Pour

How Many Ounces Is a Standard Pour of Liquor?

A standard pour of liquor at most bars across the U.S. is 1.5 ounces. Most. There are some notable exceptions.

Some larger corporate establishments pour 1.25 ounces, while some higher-end establishments with complex signature cocktails will pour 2 ounces.

Also, if you order a drink neat or on the rocks, you’ll get a rocks pour. Which is a good upselling opportunity as a bartender, by the way.

What Is a Standard Rocks Pour?

When liquor is ordered neat or on the rocks, it’s a 2-ounce pour.

This is for two reasons. The first is that the liquor is the only liquid in the glass, so you get a little more of it. To avoid looking like you’re sipping on a shot. The second is that neat and rocks drinks tend to be for top-shelf liquors that people savor. The experience is more about enjoying the liquor than enjoying a mix that masks it.

So if you’re not using a jigger, how can you accurately pour these standard amounts? Counts.

How Many Counts Is a 2 Oz Pour?

If you’re free pouring using a drink spout, use the four-count method. The aim is to count to 4 and have each number represent half an ounce. That means a 2-ounce pour is 4 counts.

A count is roughly the amount of time it takes to say “one one-thousand,” i.e. “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand.”

But you’ll have to practice to make sure your counts are on the mark. Shoot for a counting cadence where each count is half an ounce.

How Many Counts Is a 1.5 Oz Pour?

Using the four-count method, a 1.5-ounce pour is 3 counts. That means you’ll start pouring and say “one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand” and stop. This is assuming you’re using a pour spout.

How Many Counts Is a 1 Oz Pour?

A 1-ounce pour is 2 counts using a pour spout. So you’ll count “one one-thousand, two one-thousand,” and stop.

Standard Wine Pour

What Is a Standard Glass of Wine Size?

There are many types of glassware used to serve wine. The standard white wine glass holds between 8 to 12 ounces. The standard red wine glass holds between 8 to 22+ ounces. The extra space in red wine glasses allows for two things:

  • Older, full-bodied reds aerate better by being spread out across a larger surface area
  • Wider, bulbous glassware shapes can help trap and funnel complex aromas more effectively

How Many Ounces Is a Standard Glass of Wine?

Regardless of the size of your glassware, a standard wine pour is 5 ounces. If you’re enjoying 5 ounces of Pinot Noir in a 20-ounce Burgundy glass with a very … generous shape, it can look a bit off. But fret not, that extra 15 ounces is designed to help you explore the wine as thoroughly as possible.

What Is the Proper Wine Pour?

There aren’t pour spouts for wine bottles, so the previous counting system is no good. So how can you ensure you’re hitting the standard 5-ounce pour every time? There’s a trick.

It’s an invisible measuring stick. And it’s on most wine glasses, thanks to the glassmakers who make them. The widest point of a wine glass corresponds to the 5- or 6-ounce mark.

Keep this in mind as you serve wine and over-pouring will be a thing of the past.

How Many Glasses Are in a Bottle of Wine?

A 750 ml bottle of wine is 25.3 ounces. There are 5 glasses of wine in a standard bottle of wine—which is one of many wine bottle sizes.

Standard Champagne Pour

What Is a Serving Size of Champagne?

The standard serving size of champagne is 4 ounces. Champagne pours are a bit smaller than wine pours because champagne is carbonated. If the glassware has a lot of surface area, the bubbles will fizz out too quickly. So champagne needs smaller glasses which necessitates a smaller pour.

What Is a Standard Champagne Pour?

Most champagne glasses and flutes hold 6 ounces. To ensure you’re hitting the standard 4-ounce champagne pour, fill the glass two-thirds of the way up.

How Many Glasses Are in a Bottle of Champagne?

A standard 750 ml bottle of champagne, like an average bottle of wine, is 25.3 ounces. Given that a standard champagne pour is 4 ounces, there are about 6 glasses of champagne in each bottle.

Those Are the Standard Wine and Liquor Pours

Now you’ve got an understanding of standard pours for liquor, wine, and champagne. And hopefully a little context that explains why some pours are different than others.

One great thing about training bar staff on standardized pours is the prevention of over-pouring. Over-pouring plays a big part in a bar’s variance and, ultimately, a bar’s pour cost and profitability.

Consistently and accurately taking your inventory is how to calculate your bar’s variance and isolate what types of alcohol are being over-poured. And if you use a beverage and bar inventory management software like BinWise Pro, taking inventory and calculating variance are fast and automated.

If you’re at all concerned with over-pouring and how it affects your variance and bar profitability, then book a demo. Let one of our experts walk you through exactly how BinWise Pro will help. The only thing you have to lose is more alcohol.