Have you ever wondered why when you order a glass of wine in a restaurant or bar, the amount of the serving can vary?
There is no set legal-sized pour in the U.S., but a standard pour of wine is considered to be five to six ounces. (An establishment that offers five-ounce pours gets an extra glass out of each bottle.)
And, no, it doesn’t matter if the wine is a red or a white. The difference between the two pours is about two tablespoons. Many restaurants list the size of their pours on the wine menu. If it is not shown, ask.
Five-ounces is also the standard pour for a glass of Champagne. A glass of Sherry or Port is a smaller three to four-ounce pour because it is a fortified wine with a higher alcohol content. (Regular wine has an alcohol content of 11-14% while fortified wines are 15-20%.)
Dessert wines in the U.S. usually come in around 2-3 ounces since they are sold in smaller bottles. (The 375mL size dessert bottle vs. the 750mL standard bottle.)
Using the correct size and type of wine glass will make the serving size appear more in proportion.
In countries using the metric system, the standard serving size for a glass of wine is 100 ml (3.38 U.S. ounces.) But a pour of Champagne is 150mL, about the same serving size as ours. And Ports and Sherries are 60 mL while we pour an ounce or two more per serving.
Why the difference? U.S. wine pours vary somewhat because we are one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t use the metric system. (The other two are Burma and Liberia.) While that may present a problem with size and trade issues, it appears to be great for the wine drinker. Cheers!