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Standard Pours

Provide a standard tasting pour that helps consumers understand the concept of the “standard drink”. 


The National Health & Medial Research Council (NHMRC) refers to “standard drinks” in its Australian guidelines for alcohol consumption, but studies show people are confused by the concept and most think a standard drink is larger than it is. Many assume that the amount they are served in a hotel or restaurant is a standard drink.

By using a standard tasting pour and stating clearly how this can be converted to “standard drinks”, a cellar door provides information for consumers to better understand the concept and to make informed drinking choices on that day. 

WFA recommends a standard 30ml pour, although some wineries may prefer a lesser amount. The important thing is to be able to quickly equate a given number of pours to one standard drink.

A standard drink is 100ml @ 13% alcohol. Thus three 30ml pours of wine can conservatively be equated to one standard drink. 30ml is also adequate for a consumer to taste and assess each wine.


This information is not designed to be exact, so most wineries will simply train staff to visually gauge an average pour of 30ml. Others may choose to use dispensers on wine bottles (check the internet for options) or even to etch tasting glasses. 

Just as important is to train staff to explain their approach and to stick with it. If consumers ask for a “top up” they should be given a new full pour, in a separate glass if necessary.

It should be standard procedure to tell each consumer at the start of a tasting session that each glass they will receive will be 30ml and that, as a guide, three such pours equates to a standard drink.

This message should be reinforced on printed tasting notes. It is more likely to be noticed here than on a wall sign.


  • WFA has created a simple “3 pours = 1 standard drink” graphic that can easily be included in the footer of your tasting notes. Versions for 15ml and 20ml pours also are available. Right click on one of the following links, save the JPG onto your computer, then insert into a Word document as a picture: 30ml / 20ml / 15ml

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