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Binge Drinking

Are You Drinking a Bottle of Wine a Day?

June 19, 2023
8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
June 19, 2023
8 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
June 19, 2023
8 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
June 19, 2023
8 min read
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Reframe Content Team
June 19, 2023
8 min read

Many of us have stared at a bottle of wine on the table, running through the mental math of just how much alcohol is in there — and how much is in our glass. When it comes to figuring out exactly how much wine counts as a “drink,” things can get tricky: glasses come in vastly different sizes, and wine bottles can vary by volume.

The Science of Standard

Ever wondered why wine bottles have a standard size? It's not just for aesthetics. The standard bottle size of 750 ml — about 25.4 ounces — is tied to the metric system to keep things consistent for the purposes of international trade. Moreover, it’s a size that has been found to provide optimal conditions for wine aging due to the wine-to-air ratio.

How many glasses does this translate into? Well, it depends on the size of the glass and the pour. A typical serving in most establishments is about 5 ounces. So, if we do the math, a standard bottle will provide around five glasses of wine.

Wine Math

But here’s where it gets a bit more complex. Alcohol content varies between different types of wine, usually ranging from 12 to 15 percent, and sometimes more. That means that each 5-ounce glass could contain between 0.6 and 0.75 ounces of pure alcohol.

Now, these numbers might seem small, but they can accumulate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. One "drink" in the CDC's terms is roughly equivalent to 14 grams, or 0.6 ounces, of pure alcohol — in the lower end of what you might get from a glass of wine.

“Not That Innocent”

Despite the age-old claim of wine being beneficial for the heart, the sobering truth is that alcohol, including wine, is a psychoactive substance with potential for harm. Studies show that alcohol affects our bodies in various ways, from our brain function to our metabolism, even potentially disrupting our sleep patterns.

For this reason, it’s vital to drink responsibly, being mindful of the number of glasses we consume. However, this is sometimes easier said than done.

Isn't it curious how a bottle of wine, once opened, can seem to vanish faster than we intended? It's all too easy to lose track of our glasses, especially when we're caught up in lively conversations, delicious food, and the ambience of a cozy night in or a dinner party. Each pour may not seem like much — but before we know it, the bottle is empty!

Why Wine Is Sneaky

A couple of factors play into wine’s disappearing act. First, there’s the nature of wine itself. The nuanced flavors, the way it can complement our meals, and even its role in our social rituals can make it all too easy to reach for the next glass.

Moreover, the size of our wine glasses can be misleading. Modern wine glasses have grown over the years: they can hold a substantial amount, so we might be pouring more than the standard 5-ounce serving without realizing it. One pour in these glasses could be closer to two standard servings!

Finally, the alcohol in wine can lower our inhibitions and impair our judgment about how much we're drinking. And let's not forget — if we're pouring our own, there's a chance that each glass just might get a bit more generous as the evening goes on.

Staying in Balance

Awareness is our best friend. Understanding the contents of our wine bottle and being mindful of our consumption can help keep enjoyment of wine balanced and healthy, preventing the accidental vanishing act of a whole bottle.

It can be useful to visualize the wine bottle in terms of standard drinks, remembering that each bottle usually contains around five standard glasses.

Every glass we pour is an opportunity to engage in mindful drinking — savoring the wine’s taste and aroma, and also understanding its impact on our bodies and our health.

The Last Drop

A bottle of wine is more than just a pretty centerpiece or cultural symbol: it has important implications for our health. Our understanding and awareness of this can make a significant difference in our overall well-being and quality of life, particularly if we're trying to cut back on or quit alcohol.

So, the next time we uncork a bottle of wine, let's pause for a moment. Let's remember the journey we've taken to understand its contents and treat each glass with the respect and awareness it deserves.

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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