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Wine Wisdoms #26: How-To Achieve the Perfect Pour

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 at 10:38:09 AM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

As basic as it may seem, people are often confused about how high to fill a wine glass. Many customers ask us what the proper etiquette is, and the answer is very simple:

A perfect pour is a wine glass that is filled to the widest part of the bowl, no higher and no lower. If the wine is filled higher than this it will be difficult to swirl and any lower is less than a full glass. One exception is a Champagne flute which is narrow and straight, in which case the Champagne is filled until there are a few inches left from the top of the glass.

Too high:

Too High Wine Glass

Perfect Pour:

Perfect Pour Wine Glass

P.S. When you order wine by-the-glass at a restaurant, they should always give you a perfect pour!

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5 Responses to “Wine Wisdoms #26: How-To Achieve the Perfect Pour”

  1. This is an excellent tip- useful and easy to remember.

    Funny story that shows this advice is useful- a friend of mine cracked open a big 1.5L bottle of a special wine over the holidays. He had his hands full in the kitchen, so he asked a guest to pour the wine for the 8 people attending the party. A bottle this size should be enough for 10 5-ounce pours, however the guest filled 3 big old glasses to the top and came back and asked for another bottle of wine!

    Thanks for passing along great tips like this one. Wine can be a surprisingly tricky thing and what may seem obvious to someone who’s been drinking wine for a while isn’t necessarily obvious to someone just starting out.

  2. Nice explanation. Easy to follow.

    There’s another consideration, too: how much alcohol are you consuming? People are (and should be) concerned about how much alcohol they’re consuming. Both from a health benefits perspective (1 to 2, 5-ounce glasses of wine a day maximizes the health benefit) and a safety perspective (driving while impaired).

    When restaurants pour a 7-8 ounce glass of 15.5% alcohol wine (common alcohol percentage from some regions), they’re really drinking two glasses of wine (from an alcohol perspective). Two large pour glasses like that and a person loses the health benefits and almost certainly shouldn’t be driving!

    Ask for a “healthy” glass of wine!

  3. Mark, I appreciate your comments. In our restaurants we use the 22 oz riedel red wine glasses and all too often we receive guest compaints that our pours are too small (we pour 6 ounces). I respond to these comments that it would be irrespoinsible of us to fill the glass even halfway full (not to metnion that it is improper wine ettiquite to do so). Those that do complain about this usually do not like that response, but as a liquor license holder we have a responsibility to guests.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robert Dwyer and Barbara Kiebel, Elaine Lasky. Elaine Lasky said: thx for the proper way, but AS FULL AS YOU CAN GET IT :) RT @Robert Dwyer How full should you fill a wine glass? [...]

  5. I don’t understand this in context of the article. The article claims “widest part of the bowl,” but all three glasses in the perfect pour picture are lower than the widest portion (the rightmost less so than others). The center one especially would almost double the volume. How can I be sure?

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