Wine Basics: How Many Glasses of Wine In a Bottle?
McKenzie Hagan |
Whether you’re planning for a dinner party or simply trying to keep track of your alcohol intake, you may have wondered: How many glasses of wine are in a bottle?
While the answer is simple for certain bottle types, it can be hard to say just how many glasses you’ll get from a bottle of wine due to the array of bottle sizes on the market.
In this article, we give you the answers you’re looking for, as well as guide you through the weird and wonderful world of giant wine bottles.
Standard Wine: How Many Glasses of Wine in a Bottle?
Generally speaking, if you were to order a nice bottle of Pinot Noir from your favorite wine bar, it would come in a standard wine bottle.
Standard wine bottles contain 750 ml of wine. That’s 25 fluid ounces, or 1.31 pints. Within one of these 750 ml bottles, it’s generally accepted that there are five glasses of wine per bottle. This assumes you’re drinking a standard serving size of 5 ounces.
However, to keep it simple, if you and a friend are sharing a standard bottle of wine you will both have two full glasses each, and a little bit extra at the end.
Dessert Wine: How Many Glasses of Wine in a Bottle?
While a bottle of standard red wine would most likely contain five glasses, this is not always true for highly alcoholic wines, such as dessert wines.
Because alcohol content can vary wildly between wine types, sommeliers will often change the standard pour in order to lower a customer's alcohol intake.
For instance, a nice sharp Riesling only contains 8% ABV, so a standard 5-ounce pour is deemed acceptable. However, some full-bodied red wines, such as Shiraz, or fortified wines, such as Port, have up to 20% ABV, so should be served in a much smaller volume.
Dessert wines are often served in smaller bottles than the standard 750 ml. It’s quite common to buy these sweet wines in 375 ml bottles. These bottles are called half or demi bottles.
While you may expect to get half as many glasses of wine in these demi bottles, because dessert wines are served in much smaller glasses with a more delicate pour (about 3 ounces), you actually get around eight glasses of wine per bottle.
Sparkling Wine: How Many Glasses of Wine in a Bottle?
While you can find an array of wine bottle sizes for all sorts of wine, you’ll find the most variation in bottle sizes in sparkling wines, such as Champagne.
Because wine ages better in larger bottles, magnums (double bottles) of very fine sparkling wine are quite common. However, this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to huge bottles of bubbly.
There are 10 sparkling wine bottle sizes, all with pretty delightful names:
Split or Piccolo
These teeny bottles hold just a single serving of wine. You’ll often see these being served at events or in first class on a plane.
A standard bottle of sparkling wine contains about five glasses, the same as your average non-sparkling bottle.
A magnum of sparkling wine is double the size of a standard bottle, so contains 10 glasses of bubbly. You can also get your hands on a double magnum, which (you guessed it) has four times the amount of glasses than standard bottles.
A Jeroboam bottle holds the same as six standard wine bottles. That’s a hefty 4.5 liters of wine — 30 glasses of bubbly. Incidentally, this was the size of the bottle famously dropped in Ibiza recently.
Methuselah or Imperial
These mighty bottles are equivalent to two double magnum bottles, a solid 40 glasses of wine.
A Salmanazar bottle of wine holds twelve times the amount of a standard bottle of wine — 60 glasses.
This giant bottle is the equivalent of sixteen standard wine bottles, that’s 80 glasses.
A Nebuchadnezzar bottle holds the same as 20 standard 750-ml bottles, or 15 liters. That’s 100 glasses of wine!
Solomon or Melchoir
The Solomon bottle holds a colossal 18 liters of wine, that’s 24 times the standard wine bottle, and 120 glasses of bubbly. Phew!
The biggest of the big boys, the Midas bottle holds a whopping 30 liters of wine. The Midas bottle isn’t common. It’s only produced by Champagne brand Ace of Spades, where you can buy it for a steal at $190,000.
Our advice if you ever come across one of these massive bottles of wine? Lift with your legs.
Wine Bottles and Biblical Kings
For anyone who really paid attention during Bible study, you may have noticed a theme with these wine bottle names: They’re all named after biblical kings.
While there is no definitive answer as to why these bottles take their namesake from the Bible, there are some theories.
Because these bottles are so expensive, the bottles may simply relate to the huge wealth these biblical kings would have acquired over their lives. Some might be more clever, though. For instance, Methuselah is the oldest person mentioned in the Old Testament — he apparently lived till the age of 969. This particular name may be a playful hint to the aging power of the bottle.
How Many Glasses of Wine Should You Drink?
So now that you know how much is in your bottle, how much should you pour? There are no right or wrong ways to drink wine, but there are some guidelines to keep your wine drinking safe, healthy, and fun.
For example, while you can happily squeeze out two and a half glasses of Merlot from a shared bottle, this could be one too many if you’re driving. For women or smaller men, two and a half standard glasses of wine could be enough to take you over the legal driving limit, so be wary of this if you’re planning to drive home from the dinner party.
For those who want to be mindful of the calories in wine, remember, one standard serving of Chardonnay has 120 calories, while a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon has upwards of 150 calories. This means if you share a bottle with a friend, you could be consuming the same amount of calories as a full meal.
Our advice? For casual drinking, a standard glass of wine is the perfect amount to enjoy with a meal. That’s why our wines come in perfectly portioned single-serve bottles (one standard glass, plus a little extra) — they take the guesswork out of enjoying wine.
Get Out Your Glasses
As you can see, the answer to the question “how many glasses of wine are in a bottle” is a little more complicated than you might think.
While the answer is clear for a standard bottle of wine (it’s five), it gets tricky to answer for other types of wine due to pour sizes, wine glass sizes, and bottle variations. If you divide the total fluid ounces by 5, you’ll have an idea of how many standard 5-ounce pours you can get out of your bottle.
Want to explore bottle sizes on the other end of the scale? Check out our guide to adorably delicious mini wine bottles.