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How much am I drinking?
When we drink an alcoholic beverage, there are so many variables that it is difficult to keep track of how much alcohol we are consuming. Glasses, cans and bottles come in different sizes. Different drinks contain different percentages of alcohol. The simplest way to measure your intake of alcohol is in Standard Drinks.
What is a Standard Drink?
In Ireland a Standard Drink has about 10 grams of pure alcohol in it. In the UK a Standard Drink, also called a unit of alcohol, has about 8 grams of pure alcohol.
Have You Ever Wondered How Many Beers Are in a Bottle of Wine?
You’re enjoying a glass of Chardonnay while your pal sips a cold pilsner and the thought crosses your mind—how many beers equal a bottle of wine?
Using an average ABV (alcohol by volume) for each, gives us an approximate and easy answer to the query. However, if you take into consideration that wine and beer vary greatly in ABV—especially with the explosion in craft beers—the answer to this question is not so straightforward.
Don’t worry. We’re here to provide you with some clarity on wine vs. beer alcohol content …
How Many Beers Equals a Bottle of Wine?
A standard “drink” contains around 14 grams of alcohol, which is roughly how much is present in a 12 oz. beer at 5% ABV and a 5 oz. glass of wine at 12% ABV.
At these proportions, the average glass of wine is equal to the average can of beer. As we go into more detail about this below, this means that there are, typically, five beers’ worth of alcohol in a bottle of wine.
But alcohol content can vary greatly; from 3-13% ABV for beers (super-lite beers to high-octane craft IPAs), and 5-20% ABV for wines (the lightest wines, like Moscato d’Asti, to ports and other fortified wines)—so the real answer for you depends on what wine and what beer you want to compare to one another.
How Many Drinks in a Bottle of Wine?
Since a standard wine bottle is 750 ml and an average glass of wine is 5 oz., a bottle of wine holds five glasses of wine—unless you’re going heavy on the pour!
This means that a bottle of wine at 12% ABV (our Select Sweet Traverse Red wine is 12.5%) holds the equivalent of five beers – assuming we’re talking about a 12 oz. bottle or can of a 5% ABV beer (like Budweiser).
Wine vs. Beer Alcohol Content
Although we’ve arrived at our simple answer, the reality is that not all comparisons are going to fall into this convenient average. So how does one solve the “one-bottle-of-wine-equals-how-many-beers” quandary with variable alcohol contents?
Let’s take a look at some examples to find out!
Ready to test your math skills?
First, we need to determine the units of alcohol for each of the drinks we’re comparing. This done by multiplying the total volume of the drink (in ml) by its ABV, and then dividing the result by 1,000.
The equation looks like this:
ABV (%) x Volume (ml) ÷ 1,000 = Number of Alcohol Units
Let’s begin with some lower ABV wine like the Chateau Grand Traverse 2018 Late Harvest Riesling compared to a lighter ABV beer like Miller Lite.
The Late Harvest Riesling has an ABV of 10.4% and a volume of 750 ml, meaning it has 7.8 units of alcohol per bottle.
We’ll use a standard 12 oz. can of Miller Lite for this comparison. The Miller Lite has an ABV of 4.2% and a volume of 354 ml, giving it 1.5 units of alcohol per can.
To determine how many cans you would drink to equal one bottle; we divide the Riesling alcohol units by the Miller Lite alcohol units!
Riesling 7.8 ¸ Miller Lite 1.5 = 5.2 Miller Lites in a bottle of our Late Harvest Riesling.
How Many Beers in a Bottle of Wine
Okay, okay! So now you’re getting it! But beer can also come in different-sized containers. What if you’re having pints of Miller Lite at the bar? What then?
The ABV for the Miller Lite remains at 4.2%, but a pint is 16 oz. (or 473ml). This gives the pint 2.0 alcohol units. If we do the same math with this new figure, we find one bottle of 2018 Late Harvest Riesling is equal to 3.8 pints of Miller Lite.
You can use these equations to determine the comparative ratios for any wines and beers you please.
What if we start getting into wines or beers that have higher alcohol content?
To do that, let’s take the Chateau Grand Traverse Cherry “Port” Reserve, which has an ABV 18.5% and a smaller volume of 375 ml. Now let’s match it up to a 12 oz. can (354 ml) of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, which has a relatively potent ABV of 7%.
The Cherry Port has 6.9 units of alcohol per bottle. The Two Hearted has 2.5 units of alcohol per can. This means that one half-sized bottle of Cherry “Port” Reserve is equal to almost three (2.8) cans of Two Hearted.
One Bottle of Wine Equals How Many Beers?
If you’re a regular wine drinker curious about how many beers’ worth of alcohol is in a typical bottle of wine, a decent estimate is about five beers. While this rule-of-thumb average is convenient, be sure to consider the ABV and volume of your wine or beer when making these comparisons. Miller Lite and Two Hearted Ale are very different beers when it comes to ABV.
Let’s Just Share a Bottle of Wine
Now that you’ve done the arithmetic, don’t you deserve to relax with a nice glass of your subject matter? Come to Chateau Grand Traverse and sample all the amazing Michigan wines we have to offer!
What Is A Standard Drink?
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink. The amount of liquid in your glass, can, or bottle does not necessarily match up to how much alcohol is actually in your drink. Different types of beer, wine, or malt liquor can have very different amounts of alcohol content. For example, many light beers have almost as much alcohol as regular beer – about 85% as much. Here’s another way to put it:
That’s why it’s important to know how much alcohol your drink contains. In the United States, one “standard” drink (or one alcoholic drink equivalent) contains roughly 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in:
- 12 ounces of regular beer, which is usually about 5% alcohol
- 5 ounces of wine, which is typically about 12% alcohol
- 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which is about 40% alcohol
Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide and heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are major factors in different styles of wine. These differences result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the grape’s growing environment (terroir), and the wine production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define styles and qualities of wine. These typically restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes involve fermentation of additional crops, including rice wine and other fruit wines such as plum, cherry, pomegranate, currant and elderberry.