Looking forward to a glass of wine at the end of the day is one of life’s liquid pleasures.
But if you’re trying to keep an eye on how much you drink, it’s not always easy to keep track of the size of the glass, or the abv in a bottle of wine.
Especially with the trend for oversized wine glasses and big, bold, fruity wines.
To enjoy a healthy social life and keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the NHS advise men and women not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis.
But what is a unit? Well, the size and strength of your drink determines the number of units you’re drinking and the NHS suggests 14 units is equivalent to 10 small glasses of low strength wine.
“The average bottle of wine contains between 11-14% alcohol by volume. This is usually dictated by how long grapes have been left on the vines, as the longer they are left the more sugar is allowed to develop, which in turn is made into alcohol,” says Alex Redfern, wine specialist, International Wine Challenge (IWC).
“Generally, styles that are low in alcohol are those from cooler climates or those that have had their grapes picked earliest, examples of these would be champagne, prosecco and German riesling. Early harvesting of the grapes can help to give these wines their acidic taste profiles.”
So a 125ml glass of wine with 11% abv equates to 1.4 units; 175ml: 1.9 units and 250ml: 2.8 units.
“Wine styles with a high alcohol content tend to come from warmer climates, for example chardonnay from Australia, Chile and California. This is also true for red wines such as Argentine malbec and Australian shiraz,” says Alex.
For example, a 125ml glass of wine with 14% abv equates to 1.8 units; 175ml: 2.4 units and 250ml: 3.5 units. And if you want to go by the bottle (750ml) – a red, white or rose wine (13.5% abv) contains 10 units.
To help you mind your measures, here are some IWC medal winners to guide you through the strengths…
Low strength wine
Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut NV 12% £21.99 Gold medal winner
Marks & Spencer Oudinot Brut Champagne 12% £26 Silver medal winner
Berry Bros. & Rudd Mosel Riesling 9.5% £10.25 Silver medal winner
High strength wine
Seaglass Pinot Noir 13.5% £12.00 Silver medal winner
ASDA Extra Special Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 13% £7.98 Silver medal winner
Corte Ignacio Casablanca Viognier 14.5% £8.50 Silver medal winner
Which is your favourite style of wine?