According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a serving of alcohol in any beverage is .6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is just the ethanol without any dilution. Because wine has different alcohol by volume (ABV) for different types, there is a range of alcohol servings in a standard 750 mL bottle.
Calculating Based on Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
In general, wine ranges from about 5.5 percent ABV for very low alcohol wines to 20 percent ABV for fortified wines. So, if a wine is 15 percent ABV, in 750 mL, 112.5 mL is pure alcohol. Doing some math, this means about 3.8 ounces of the entire bottle of wine is pure alcohol, so a 750 mL bottle of 15 percent ABV has 6.333 (6 1/3) servings of alcohol according to the standards set by NIH.
The following table extrapolates alcohol servings of various ABV for a 750 mL bottle and then also calculates for other bottle sizes. Finally, the chart tells you how many ounces will be in a serving in order to have just a single serving of alcohol for a wine of that percentage. Average ABV for various wine types are taken from Wine Folly. The label of your bottle of wine will tell you its ABV.
|ABV||Examples||375 mL (split or half) servings||750 mL servings||1.5L (magnum) servings||Ounces of wine per serving|
|5.5% to 7.5%||Moscato d'Asti, Brachetto d'Aqui|| |
1.2 to 1.6 servings
2.3 to 3.2 servings
|4.6 to 6.4 servings||8 to 11 ounces|
|8% to 9.5%||Riesling, Alsace blanc, Muscadet||1.7 to 2 servings||3.4 to 4 servings||6.8 to 8 servings||6.3 to 7.5 ounces|
|10% to 11.5%||Lambrusco, Soave, Pinot Grigio||2.1 to 2.4 servings||4.2 to 4.8 servings||8.4 to 9.6 servings||2.6 to 3.1 ounces|
|12% to 13.5%||Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Rhone Blends, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Rose||2.6 to 2.9 servings||5.1 to 5.7 servings||10.2 to 11.4 servings||2.2 to 2.5 ounces|
|14% to 15%||Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Grenache,||2.5 to 3.2 servings||5.9 to 6.3 servings||11.8 to 12.6 servings||2 to 2.1 ounces|
|15.5% to 20%||Shiraz, late-harvest dessert wines, fortified wines, vermouth||3.3 to 4.3 servings||6.6 to 8.5 servings||13.2 to 17 servings||1.5 to 1.9 ounces|
You'll notice as the alcohol content of your wine goes up, your total serving size in ounces will get smaller in order to maintain the .6 ounces of alcohol per serving.
Other Bottle Sizes
There are other, less common bottle sizes. However, in general, these are just multiples of the 750 mL bottle. For example, a double magnum holds 3L and essentially doubles the number of servings found in a magnum.
Doing the Math
If you know your ABV, you can do the math yourself. Some things you'll need to know to do the calculation include:
- 750mL equals 25.36 ounces.
- A serving of alcohol is .6 ounces.
Calculating ABV in a 750mL Bottle
Here's how to do the calculation for a 750mL (standard) bottle of wine.
(25.36 ounces x percentage of ABV)/.6 = total servings of alcohol in the entire bottle
Calculating Serving Size
To calculate the serving size, divide 25.36 ounces by the number of servings...so for a 750mL bottle that has 5.5 percent ABV, you would divide 25.36 (the number of ounces in a 750mL bottle) by 2.3 servings (the number of servings of alcohol in the entire bottle). For a faster method that doesn't involve math, just look at the table for range of servings and sizes for the range of ABV in your bottle of wine, and ballpark it.
A Range of Possibilities
Wine has a broad range of ABV, which means if you're concerned strictly with servings of alcohol, you can consume anywhere from about 1.5 ounces to more than 11 ounces and have the same amount of alcohol. However, with the chart above, it's easier to keep track.