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Scott Schulfer

What Is a Standard Wine Pour? | The Average Pour of Wine

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Pouring liquid into a cup. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Strangely, there exist a few situations when pouring liquid into a cup becomes confusing or, god forbid, stressful. Wine can be one of them. 

Wine, with all its tradition and ceremony, seems to make demands. “Pair me with this,” wine says, staring at us. “Pour this much of me in that,” it continues as it holds up its thumb and forefinger approximating volume then points to a lovely, broad Burgundy glass. Its expectant eyes follow you as you navigate the glassware, waiting for any slight misstep. Any hint of hesitation.

Okay, wine. You win. Here’s an article about the standard wine pour.

If you’re pouring wine, you may as well hit the average wine pour. Because the average wine pour is the correct wine pour. And the correct wine pour is the perfect wine pour. Especially if you're buying a winery and you'll be hosting tastings, you want the perfect wine pour. Especially considering the average price of wine.

We assume you already know how to open the bottle. If not, pick up an electric wine opener to make it easy. Remember, wine is watching.

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Standard Wine Pour in Ounces (Oz)

How many ounces in a wine pour? The standard pour of wine is 5 ounces. That applies to both white and red wines. And it may seem strange given the variation of glassware available for wine. But, for the vast majority of wines, it’s 5 ounces. That's important to know not only for pouring, but for taking wine inventory. For which a bar inventory template is helpful.

To drive that point home, let’s consider glassware and why it doesn’t affect the 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. This will be even more useful information if you know how many ounces in a wine bottle. The extra space in red wine glasses allows for two things:

  • Older, full-bodied and high-tannin red wines aerate better by being spread out across a larger surface area (knowing what are tannins in wine, how to decant wine and what a wine aerator does is helpful in knowing how to best bring out the flavor of your wines)
  • Wider, bulbous glassware shapes can help trap and funnel complex aromas more effectively
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To get the perfect wine glass pour, regardless of the size of your glassware, a standard wine pour is 5 ounces. If you’re enjoying the standard serving size of 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, any wine professional will tell you that extra 15 ounces is designed to help you explore the wine with your senses as thoroughly as possible.

That said, how does that translate into bottles of wine?

P.S. If you're intrigued by aeration and decanting, check out our list of best wine aerators and best wine decanters to get started. Just make sure you know how to clean a decanter.

How Many Glasses Are In a Bottle of Wine?

Well, a standard 750 ml bottle of wine is 25.3 ounces. That means the vast majority of wine bottles are 750 ml. And that means that once you open your wine bottle, you'll get five glasses of wine out of it. If you’re hitting the correct wine pour. If you're not hitting the normal wine pour, which is a 5-ounce wine pour, it’ll be more or less depending on your wine glass pour size. If you have a more unique bottle, you can read our post on wine bottle sizes. If you're interested in similar calculations but with liquor bottles, check out our alcohol bottle sizes post.

That said, the normal wine pour for dessert and fortified wine differs. So let's take a look at some variations.

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Variations on the Standard Pour of Wine

Let’s look at the few instances in which the wine community deviates from the normal wine pour. They are the typical wine pours for dessert wines, fortified wines, and wine tastings.

How Many Ounces Is a Dessert Wine Pour?

The standard dessert wine pour is 2 ounces. A smaller serving size, sure, but that's because it's typically meant to be enjoyed much like an edible dessert. In small quantities and for its sweet flavor profile.

What's the Standard Fortified Wine Pour?

Fortified wines like port (see: port wine history) and sherry have standard pours of around 3 ounces. Clocking it at around 20% ABV, they're higher in alcohol than regular, non-fortified wine, and enjoyed accordingly.

What’s a Wine Tasting Pour Size?

The average wine pour for a wine tasting pour size is roughly half of a standard pour of wine. That means, if the normal wine pour is 5 ounces, a wine tasting pour size is approximately 2.5 ounces. A lot of folks pouring wine tasting pours shoot for somewhere between 2 and 3 ounces. It doesn’t have to be exact.

How Much to Pour in a Wine Glass

How to measure a typical wine pour is a little different than other types of alcohol. Nobody’s using a jigger for wine. But there are a few really clever solutions.

The first is a wine pourer. It’s like a liquor pour spout, but specifically designed to regular the flow of wine. The best wine pourers make it easy to hit the perfect wine pour.

Next up, wine glasses with pour lines on them. These nifty little suckers tell you exactly where to stop pouring to hit the typical wine pour.

But most people tend to stick to free pouring when pouring wine. And if you’re going that route, there’s a secret strategy you can use to hit the perfect wine pour. It’s an invisible measuring stick. On most wine glasses, thanks to the glassmakers who make them, the widest point of a wine glass typically 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. If you do overpour, make sure to hand a wine stain remover on hand to avoid ruing your fabrics.

And That's the Standard Wine Pour

The average wine pour differs from types of wine but not among glassware. If you're drinking regular wine, it's 5 ounces. Fortified wine? 3 ounces. Wine tastings? 3 ounces. And dessert wine, 2 ounces. You should also look into gluten free wine brands for all of these.

A server training manual on standard wine pours and standard liquor pours can benefit your bar's pour cost in a big way, especially when your wine menu or digital wine list includes wine by the glass. It's the same benefit a standardized recipe brings in the kitchen. Overpouring with a bottle at tableside is primarily irritating to the guests. Some guests may not want more than a serving of wine, and pouring too much too early can prevent the 5th wine-drinking guest from getting a full serving. When it comes to other types of alcohol, you'll also want to know how many ounces in a pint. All of this will come in handy with all sorts of liquor learning, including how to get a liquor license.

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But by stemming over-pouring and decreasing variance, you'll be selling almost all of what you use. Very little will slip through the cracks. A good inventory turnover ratio like that is how your profit margin goes up. An easy way to determine your variance and identify opportunities to decrease it is using a variance report, like the one BinWise Pro comes with. After taking inventory, BinWise Pro—an industry-leading bar inventory software—quickly and accurately creates a suite of reports to help boost profits. Among them, a variance report. And hopefully, if you're using a report like that, you'll see your variance steadily going down as you train your staff up on the standard wine pour. You don't want to find out the hard way can wine go bad.

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