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Standard for wine pouring

Question:

We are opening a restaurant and are trying to decide how many ounces is a good/normal glass of wine. We have been pouring about 4 ounces in a small wine glass. Is there a standard?

– Owen Carleton, Owner, The Garden Girls Restaurant, Cafe and Market, Denver, CO

Answer:

With a four-ounce pour you are under-pouring by about twenty percent of the industry norm. A standard 750 milliliter bottle of wine is 25.36 ounces and the industry standard is four to five glasses per bottle. With a five-ounce pour, the math works perfectly (five 5-ounce glasses, even allowing for some drips), unless you have a large amount of sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

With a four-ounce pour you are getting over six glasses per bottle. That extra glass in each bottle is nice for your margins if you can make it work, but in all likelihood guests will notice that your pours are lighter than your competitors’. They may complain or, worse, not return.

Dennis Beardsley of Ledgewood Creek Winery and Vineyard in Suisun Valley, California, gives a five-ounce pour and recommends using a 1-ounce bottle pourer or a mark on a logo glass for enough control to consistently yield five glasses per bottle. Alternatively, serving your wines by the glass in a five-ounce carafe is a good strategy both for control and for compensating for oversized stemware that, while great for swirling, makes a standard pour look light.

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