With lower drink drive alcohol levels around the world, and more people conscious of their everyday health and daily dietary intake. And for those of you who have business or social lunches and dinners where you can and enjoy a glass of wine.
Knowing your limits with regards to the level and volume of wine you can consume is something you can have more control over. And you don’t have to leave this to the licenced café, wine bar or restaurant on the glass volumes they serve and can purchase.
If you desire, you can order a smaller serving of wine. Whether you receive one is another matter. If you are only wanting a small glass of wine with lunch or paired with a little evening meal. Or you would like to have a glass of wine with both an entrée and your main course.


And you would like to be able to drive back to work or home - and have some confidence that you are under the legal limit of standard drinks in your country. Or you wish to have a level of control that you can function correctly to drive safely, return to the office and also to be healthy.
Many licenced dining establishments around the world do show or inform you clearly the volume of millilitres served in your glass of wine. And there are some who keep it a mystery.
Depending upon if you are ordering a glass of sparkling wine, a still white of red wine, dessert or fortified wine. You can typically get servings from 30mls through to 250mls. But for this article - I am referring to still white and red wine at approximately 13% alc/vol - and equivalent to a 100ml serving of wine being 1 standard drink. Also working with what seems to be an ‘unofficial’ worldwide standard serving volume of wine by the glass of 150mls.
Please check what the legal limits are in your country - but working on alcohol limits here in New Zealand. The guidelines suggest to be under the drink driving limit - an average sized healthy woman can drink between 125mls up to 200ml per hour with water (without food) to be able to function and under the limit. An average sized healthy male can drink between 175mls up to 250mls per hour with water. *(These are guidelines only - please know your own bodies daily health and limits, plus the legal alcohol limits in your country).
So with this information as a guide only *(not a general rule) - so if you are out for lunch or dinner and you would like to have a specific glass of wine served with an entree and another specific wine with your main course. And you do not wish to have 2 glasses of the normal serving size of 150ml - which will equal 300mls of wine in around 1 hour. You can ask the restaurant to serve you 100mls of wine.
The licenced restaurant by law *(one of the many regulations of a liquor licence) have to be a ‘Responsible Host’ - and if you ask for a smaller serving of wine - they should be more than happy to oblige. They can work out the volume, as they have measures behind the bar for all kinds of other drinks. They can also work out the price. So if they are a responsible host and they want you to come back, they can do this.
Please note that the reverse ‘should not’ and ‘will not’ be the case *(for a licenced responsible host) - asking for larger glass servings is not something they will provide.
So if the measure, volume of glass pour is not written on the wine-list of shown behind the bar area - please first ask the staff the glass pour serving volumes. If they only have one or two options which are more than you would like. Politely inform them that you are intending to dine and would like to have 2 glasses of wine with your lunch or dinner and that you would like to only have a 100ml pour. This will reduce panic and confusion with the floor and bar staff and make the whole process much smoother and easier to accommodate.
There should be few issues from a licenced cafe, wine bar or restaurant with a range of wines available by the glass to serve you 100mls - if they want to. If they don’t offer this service - you will probably have done this in the past, ordering only one glass of wine and trying to make it pair with both dishes and last during your whole meal. So you only purchase 150mls of wine at one glass price.
But - if they served you two 100ml glasses of wine - they only serve 50mls more - and can charge you for two glasses *(yes at a reduced glass price) - but this means they make more money and you are a happy customer - and more importantly you are able to function at work or drive home if you decide you are capable and under the legal limit of blood alcohol.
It’s a win-win-win…: you are sober, happy and healthy, you get to pair the correct wine with each dish, you have a better experience, the outlet is a responsible host and makes more money - and you are more likely to come back and do it all again.
Please Drink Responsibility - Know Your Limits.