Written by: Tim Edison

Updated: October 6, 2023

How Many Milliliters in a Glass of Wine?

With so many different types of wine glass it's actually a fairly difficult question to answer. But, it's one we can help with in today's guide.

You may know your own wine glasses inside out but how about the glasses used at your favorite wine bar or restaurant?

It's worth knowing how much wine you've been poured for a variety of reasons. 

Are you getting your money's worth? Are you driving later and need to monitor your alcohol intake strictly?

Different types of wine are typically served in different types of glasses and today we'll talk you through them so you can estimate how many ml is a glass of wine.

The Anatomy of a Wine Glass

It's worth understanding the characteristics of a wine glass before we delve into how many ml it holds.

But, if you're in a rush you can skip to the answer here.

While all types of glasses vary in some way, there is a base structure that most wine glasses follow.

At the bottom of the glass is the foot, or in other words the flat circle at the bottom. It allows the glass to remain upright and keeps your drink stable and standing. 

Next is the stem used to grasp the wine glass. The stem is the long thin part that runs from the foot to the bowl.

It is made with comfort in mind so the user can easily keep a grip on their glass. But it also has an often overlooked functional purpose. It prevents your hand from warming the wine by holding it around the bowl.

Stemless wine glasses do exist and they are reasonably popular. The reason being that they are much more durable and practical. They're generally easier to clean and to store as they take up much less space. It's just a matter of personal preference really.

The final part making up your wine glass is the bowl. This is the cup that holds the nectar. This is the part that comes into contact with your drink and has the opportunity to make or break the experience.

There can be a lot of variation between all glasses in terms of size and shape of the bowl. Each bowl is designed with different wines in mind.

A cabernet wine glass may be taller while a burgundy wine glass is wider. This is often times the most diverse part of a glass that separates it from its competition.

It's also worth mentioning the rim of the bowl. The rim is usually thinly made to allow for the drinker to pick up on the more delicate aspects of the wine without interference from the texture or taste of the glass. The thinner the rim the more likely you are to just get the pure wine flavor.

Many believe that every wine requires a completely original and distinctive glass. They feel it adds to the overarching flavor story of each individual wine and increases their appreciation of it.

Different types of wine glasses provide a variety of scenarios for your enjoyment.

A burgundy red wine glass, for example, will be wider and have a bigger opening at the rim while a sparkling wine flute will be taller, slimmer, and have a smaller opening at the rim.

The red wine glass will have the taste start on the top of your tongue and have it glide down.

However, the narrow sparkling wine flute will maximize the carbonation of your beverage, concentrating the wine on your tongue.

The different shapes allow the drinker to have a more memorable drinking experience for all the different wines.

They highlight the unique tastes and bouquets that make up the wine. They give the drinker a different admiration for the wines they present and how they present them. 

Among these differences in glass design are a few agreed upon attributes that most (if not all} wine glasses possess.

For instance, the bottom half of a wine bowl should be wider than the rim. This allows for the drinker to swirl their wine around to achieve optimal ability to breath in the more intimate scents. It also prevents spilling out the top when you are swirling your drink.

Another instance is that wine glasses should be clear no matter what they are made of. This shows off the wine and lets the drinker and others have a true appreciation for the beverage inside the glass.

How Many Milliliters in a Wine Glass?

The standard measure for a glass of wine in 2023 is 150 milliliters or 5 ounces.

This is the measurement used by the CDC to represent a 'standard drink' of wine that contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol (at 12% alcohol content). 

This happens to be one fifth of a measure of a standard bottle of wine, which holds 750ml.

Fun Fact About Wine Glass Size

Studies have shown that wine glass capacity has increased by 700% in the past 300 years!

The average wine glass held just 66ml on average back in 1700.

There are many reasons thought to be behind this huge increase. One such reason is a 'glass excise' tax that ran from 1746 to 1845 limiting the size of glass manufacturing.

Once the tax was abolished and glass production became more automated in the late 1800s, finally glasses started to become larger.

However, it wasn't until the 20th century where things truly started to get bigger.

A huge demand for wine (which is cheaper and more accessible than before) is thought to be another reason.

The increase in the number of ml a wine glass holds also coincides with a big increase in the amount of food we consume.

The biggest increase in wine glass size was seen over the last few decades. There has been a massive increase in size from an average of approximately 220ml in 1980 to 417ml in 2020!

A 150ml measure is viewed as enough for the taster to get a true feel for the wine but not overflow their glass. It also gives room to swish the wine around.

As stated above, this creates the optimal aroma and impression. This size is also recommended by professionals who say it is the perfect amount for consumption in a single sitting.

When the glasses are made, the designer generally keeps in mind how high the average wine drinker fills their glass.

They then take that number, one hundred and fifty milliliters as a base, and extend on it to leave more room so it’s not overflowing. We need plenty of headroom to allow the wine to be gently swirled in the glass.

Great care and detail go into the production of these things and wine content is just another aspect that is considered.

If a wine glass is smaller there is generally a reason behind that which does not include average serving size. It usually involves the way unique shapes affect the flavor of the wine.

But everyone enjoys their wine differently. How much you put in your wine glass can depend on the amount in the bottle, the setting in which you are drinking, and who is serving you.

A smaller bottle might be savored for longer with smaller drinks. On the other hand, a bigger bottle may encourage you to add more to your glass.

The setting and who is serving you go hand in hand in affecting your choices of serving size.

You might have more in your glass at a party than on a quiet night in or you could drink a bit more after a long and stressful day than you would on a regular Tuesday.

Restaurants tend to serve a slightly larger amount to their customers. Many see this as a great thing because it gives them more for what they are paying.

The average glass of wine at a restaurant is filled between one hundred and seventy and one hundred and ninety milliliters.

Wine glasses come in an array of styles and each has its own set of benefits and specifications. Many of them, while differing in shape and design, still have good common ground for how they present your wine.

From the tallest of red wine glasses to the smallest of burgundy ones and from base to bowl to rim, great consideration is taken to improve your drink.

A glass with the capacity for one hundred and fifty milliliters plus extra room leaves the ideal amount of space in your glass.

Serving size is really important for any wine drinker and can influence your entire sampling. It may seem like a small detail but it will work to improve on your drinking.

Everything from serving size to glass shape to empty space in your glass makes a big difference in how you experience your wine. If this article can teach you anything, it is to not overlook the small details of your fresh glass of wine.

Take the time to enjoy it and think about these things. I can guarantee you’ll feel like you’re getting more out of your sitting and leave with a sense of understanding.

Even if you’re not someone who is a die-hard wine fan, you’ll feel better about your drink when you take the time to become more thoughtful of it.

Final Thoughts

So when you open up your next new bottle of wine, think about the wine glass, what it contains, and how it contains it.

It’s a delicate balance that is kind of amazing to think about and if you take the time to appreciate it you will definitely feel this way.

Wine isn’t just a drink and the more you know about it the better time you’ll have drinking it.

And who knows, maybe next time you have your favorite glass of wine, you could find yourself savoring it just a little bit more than you thought you would originally or ever have.

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About the Author Tim Edison

Tim started Wine Turtle way back in 2015.
These days he contributes to Wine Turtle (and other renowned wine publications) while continuing his wine education.
Tim's wine of the month is the Coates & Seely Reserve Brut NV (from Hampshire, England).

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