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When you bottle feed your baby, your entire life revolves around ounces.  I don’t think I really understood what a fluid ounce looked like before I had Henry – and was constantly filling up bottles.

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The other day, I was writing a freelance piece on what qualifies as a ‘healthy’ amount of wine.  Alcohol can actually reduce your risk of heart disease and some other ailments if you drink in moderation and if you aren’t predisposed to other diseases and if your body responses well to alcohol (that’s a lot of ifs, so the conclusion of my piece as that it’s probably better to just focus on diet and exercise if you want to be healthier… dammit).

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According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, if you drink, you should stick to one drink a day if you’re female and two a day if you’re male.  What counts as ‘one drink?’

 

  • 12 fluid ounces of regular beer
  • 1.5 fluid ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
  • 5 fluid ounces of white/red wine

 

When I read that, I thought, “Damn, only 5 ounces of wine? That’s not a lot!”  So I decided to see exactly what 5 ounces of wine looks like in a variety of glasses.

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I may be mistaken (sorry, not a sommelier!), but from left to right: a pinot noir glass, a shiraz glass,  a champagne flute, and an inexpensive, standard wine glass.

 

First, here’s five ounces of wine.

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That looks so wrong.  Don’t worry, I scrubbed that bottle so thoroughly after this experiment!

 

In the two large red glasses:

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Oh man. So tiny.

 

In the other glasses:

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The container you drink out of sure does make a difference, doesn’t it?  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.

 

Henry is going to stick to his favorite variation of white for now. Winking smile

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{ 51 comments }

 

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  • Ashley March 14, 2013, 10:37 am

    I worked in an upscale restaurant (with the big fancy wine glasses that I love too) so I have always been aware of just how small an accurate pour is, but I’m still known to overpour every once in awhile ;-)

    I wonder if it feels like you are drinking more when you drink the same amount out of a small glass (because it’s full) versus a large glass (which looks nearly empty). That’s an experiment I’ll have to try…

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2013, 10:40 am

      I guarantee you will feel like you are drinking more out of the smaller glasses! Psychology is huge in satiety.

      Reply
    • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 14, 2013, 3:14 pm

      I actually eat my dinner off of smaller plates for this reason. The same amount of food on a large plate never feels filling enough but on the small plate I am stuffed!

      Reply
      • Ashley March 14, 2013, 8:54 pm

        That’s such a good idea and a simple switch to make!

        Reply
  • Presley @ Run Pretty March 14, 2013, 10:37 am

    I just made a few labeled wine glasses with glass etching stuff (yeah, I don’t know the technical term). Totally used the bottle to measure the ounces, too. :)

    Reply
  • RunEatRepeat March 14, 2013, 10:38 am

    It looks like not enough.

    Reply
  • Jennifer@knackfornutrition.com March 14, 2013, 10:40 am

    Oh man, that is some serious perspective and definitely explains quite a few hangovers! :) Interesting experience, I will have to pour more carefully from now on!

    Reply
  • Sarah March 14, 2013, 10:43 am

    I use small glasses and it really helps! Sometimes if I just want a bit, I use a port glass which is a little over an ounce. Then I can have 2-3 refills and be satisfied. Psyching myself out for the win!

    Reply
  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action March 14, 2013, 10:46 am

    I served and bartended for a bunch of years, so I knew how small the serving sizes are. But just like our food servings, our wine servings are also larger than what they need to be to get the health benefits of drinking. A lot of the restaurants I worked at gave a 6 oz portion, and you could elect to get a 9 oz glass of wine. I’d say more people had the 9 oz glass than the 6 oz.

    Reply
  • Tracey March 14, 2013, 10:52 am

    Fun fact: Most restaurants have some sort of etching, usually with the restaurant’s name, on their wine glasses. The bartenders have a certain spot on this etching that they use to judge when they should stop pouring. At Seasons 52, there’s a 52 on the glass– I don’t know if they stop just below it, halfway up or what. But that’s how the bartenders judge a “full pour.”

    Also, many restaurants use more upright (thinner) wine glasses so they appear more full. It’s the same psychological affect of drinking from a short, fat glass (appears to be less liquid) and a tall, skinny glass (appears to be more liquid).

    Reply
  • Sonia the Mexigarian March 14, 2013, 10:54 am

    Been a victim of the big glass fill up on many occasions. And it doesn’t help when the husband pours the wine into mason jars because he doesn’t want to grab the wine glasses from the cabinet. oiye. headache this morning.

    Reply
  • Kath March 14, 2013, 10:56 am

    I would much rather have a small amount in a big glass I can swirl around. I can’t stand those little cheap glasses despite looking like more! Love that you used a bottle to measure – ha!

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn @ justjacq March 14, 2013, 11:00 am

    Haha this is so funny! I love that you used his bottle instead of a measuring cup!

    Reply
  • Emily March 14, 2013, 11:05 am

    So weird how different they look! I think I’d prefer a smaller glass, so it looks like more. A good mental trick!

    Reply
  • Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution March 14, 2013, 11:11 am

    My sister-in-law has been counting calories to lose a couple pounds, and she told me at lunch yesterday that she finally decided to measure her wine. Turns out, she’s been using My Fitness Pal’s calorie count for 8 oz of wine but only pouring herself about 4! For months!

    I felt SO bad for her.

    Reply
  • Whitney March 14, 2013, 11:23 am

    This is also true for portion sizes on plates. It’s easier to practice moderation when you use a smaller appetizer for your meals instead of a large buffet plate. I tend to want to put more on the larger plates because it doesn’t seem like there is enough when in actuality there is! :)

    Reply
  • Natalie @ will jog for food March 14, 2013, 11:26 am

    Wow, it really looks small in those big glasses!

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  • Abby March 14, 2013, 11:31 am

    Gosh, that’s disappointing!

    Reply
  • Kelsey March 14, 2013, 11:44 am

    Thanks for the different size glasses! I like multiple glasses of wine so I stick with a small glass and pour as though it is a large glass. I get two glasses with staying around 6oz!

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 14, 2013, 11:53 am

    That’s kinda sad haha. I’ve definitely drank wine out of a solo cup before… gotta keep it classy ;) Now we have a bunch of stemless wineglasses that I’m in love with, but I can’t say I’m not guilty of filling them up a little too far!

    Reply
  • Amanda, RD- The Nutritionist Reviews March 14, 2013, 11:59 am

    Really good post! A lot of people think that they can fill up the huge wine glasses and that counts as one serving. Many times, it is up to 4 servings!

    Reply
  • Brigid March 14, 2013, 12:05 pm

    I promise the red will taste better if you use the larger glass. You can swirl it properly, which improves the flavor. That’ll help with satiety, too. Also, good choice on the Mark West. It’s probably my favorite pinot for under $20.

    Reply
  • Haley @ fullnfit March 14, 2013, 12:16 pm

    So…. moral of the story:: drink wine from a baby bottle or champagne flute. Looks like a lot more :)

    Reply
  • bulawanten March 14, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Oh, I thought it was 5 glasses. Damn. It’s also unfair that men can have two drinks. Boo on that!

    Reply
    • Rebecca March 14, 2013, 1:49 pm

      I think the men/women difference is because of body weight and stuff. I’m also pretty sure I heard somewhere that there’s an enzyme or something the breaks down alcohol, and men have more of it than women do, or it takes longer to kick in for us.

      Reply
  • Sara March 14, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Love this post, actually just the other night I decided to have a glass of wine after work. I have the small cheap glasses which is A-OK with me because they look like more. IF I had the big ones I would for sure over pore. From your post looks like I pored pretty much 5 oz! Crazy thing though is I had a head ache after- I think I was extremely dehydrated.

    Reply
  • Rebecca March 14, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Pretty sure that’s part of what the lines in red solo cups are for, measuring ounces. But most people don’t drink wine in red solo cups, so… nice to see what it looks like in other glasses. And the size of the container definitely makes a difference. I have several water bottles that are different sizes and the same amount of water looks different depending on the bottle.

    I don’t plan on ever drinking because I don’t trust myself to not go overboard if I like something (slightly addictive personality issue), but I don’t mind if others drink–so long as they’re not drunk. I had one drink once and didn’t like it, and just decided to not continue drinking. I’ve seen too much damage from too much alcohol, and I don’t want to risk causing that damage myself. Easier to not start than it is to stop.

    Reply
  • Allison March 14, 2013, 2:18 pm

    Aw man this makes me sad :( I knew I was over-pouring, but this is super eye-opening.

    Reply
  • Reenie March 14, 2013, 2:25 pm

    I also like using the big glasses for the red wine. I buy my glasses at Dollar Tree…. they are thick glass ~ and they have all the sizes ~ great to get if you’re having a party and want them all to match ;)

    Love all of Henry’s clothes. The pic with him looking at the veggie tacos is too cute!! Like ~ let me at that food!! Ha!

    Reply
  • Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles March 14, 2013, 3:06 pm

    I definitely pour large glasses of wine, but I also prefer the smaller wine glasses, so hopefully this balances me out a little bit :P

    Reply
  • Chrissy March 14, 2013, 3:58 pm

    Hahaha. This same thing happened to me. Why do I feel drunk? Why do I feel hungover? I also used a baby bottle to measure it. :-)

    Reply
  • Rachel March 14, 2013, 4:34 pm

    The wine guy in the course I took said you should pour to the widest part of the glass – it’s interesting that in the “proper” wine glasses (the first 2) that’s exactly 5 oz! Although his statement had to do with allowing the wine to breathe. :)

    Reply
  • Lori March 14, 2013, 4:47 pm

    you are too funny putting wine in the baby bottle ! :)

    Reply
  • Barca Mama March 14, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Wow!!! What a great visual. Thanks for sharing. The baby bottle measure sure cracked me up as well;)

    Reply
  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 14, 2013, 8:25 pm

    Ha! 5 ounces my butt. That’s like when they say I can only have 3/4 cup of Cocoa Puffs. Serving sizes are lame ;)

    Reply
  • Amber K March 14, 2013, 8:43 pm

    I have actually weighed my alcohol before on a food scale to see if I was overpouring my shots. Umm..whoops! ;)

    Reply
  • Clare March 14, 2013, 8:53 pm

    Oh Dear…I had a sneaking suspicion my cherished, nightly glass of wine was considerably more than 5 oz. My husband (the comedy genius) likes to call it ‘Stay at Home Mom Size’.

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 14, 2013, 9:35 pm

      Lol!!!

      Reply
  • luv what you do March 15, 2013, 12:41 am

    So sad! This is totally why I use a tiny glass so I feel like I am drinking more wine.
    It might also explain my extra pounds : )

    Reply
  • misspipkelly March 15, 2013, 8:21 am

    I love big wine glasses but it does make it harder to know exactly where you’re at!

    Interestingly, it would seem us Brits are allowed to drink more than you! 5 fl oz is approx 150ml – our daily limit for women is 2 – 3 units (in theory a 125ml glass of wine is one unit).

    The other problem is the strength of the wine. New world wine (NZ being my favourite), is often 13% – 14% on average, though it doesn’t taste it, this is discernably stronger than your average French or Italian wine which average closer to 10%.

    A 175ml glass of 13.5% wine is 2.4 units – but 10% wine is 1.8 units. But that’s complicated maths to do over a wine list!

    Reply
  • Alison March 16, 2013, 1:36 am

    In medical school it’s drilled into us that if we’re doing a patient history and they say they drink a few glasses a day, be sure to ask the patient how big that glass is…

    Reply
    • Karen March 16, 2013, 1:07 pm

      Funny! As an ER nurse, we always assumed about double the amount of alcohol a person admitted to drinking (for daily drinkers, not social drinks). So “I have about 3 beers a day” always translated to a 6 pack as far as we were concerned.

      Reply
  • Lara March 18, 2013, 4:59 pm

    Love this post! Pinning it!

    Reply
  • Cliff Hall July 8, 2013, 7:10 pm

    The reason you get headaches is probably sulfite content. Most wines have sulfites added so they don’t break down in warmer climes. But people have varying tolerances to sulfites. If you get a headache after having a little too much, then you probably need to scratch that wine off your list of favorites and seek out one that doesn’t cause headaches.

    Reply
  • Kassandra August 6, 2013, 4:42 pm

    What a great reference! I’m trying to eat healthier and found this post because I just LOVE wine. I use a calorie tracker (getting married next summer!) and the serving size happens to be 5 oz. at 100 calories each – not so bad right? Well, my beautiful pink pinot noir glass apparently holds over 300 calories worth of wine. Bummer! But at least now I can keep those calories and sugar balanced out better.

    Thanks so much for this post – also, started a blog myself recently and yours is beautiful! It gives me something to aim for. :)

    Reply
  • Eli November 21, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Though it may sound crazy, if you water down your wine you can get a lot more out of it (at least a longer sipping period). It’s best to do this with cheaper wine, and can even improve the taste of a particularly bad one. If you want to feel cooler, you can add seltzer instead and call it a spritzer. In case you are wondering, this technique is commonly used in college because drinking games and straight wine lead to an unacceptable early night.

    Reply
  • Lu @ ForHerByHer.com March 25, 2014, 1:52 pm

    The fact that my very first thought was “oh my goodness, I hope you didn’t waste all that wine” can’t be a good sign :)

    Reply