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How many ounces is an average restaurant pour?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 pam claughton

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 04:52 PM

As a continuation of the waiter over-pouring thread, I'm curious as to what size a glass of wine should be when you order in a restaurant? How many ounces, do you suppose, feels right?

I was at a great little wine bistro last night, and they offer 2 or 4 oz pours, or the bottle. I ordered a glass, and didn't specify so I got a 4 oz pour, but I had to double check, because it was so small, that I wondered if it was only 2oz. The 4oz pours seems to me about half what you normally receive in a restaurant.

Or am I way off base? Am curious what you all consider to be 'a glass' of wine.


Edited by pam claughton, 04 March 2005 - 04:53 PM.

#2 MGLloyd

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 06:44 PM

In my experience, the majority of the restaurants and wine bars that I have been to pour a four to six ounce glass of wine. The only exception is if I am getting a wine tasting flight, in which case a two to three ounce pour seems typical.


Michael Lloyd
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#3 Mark Sommelier

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:35 PM

In the restaurant that I work we pour a 6oz. glass into a 24 oz. glass. That's a quarter of a bottle. My cost is adjusted for that. That's a good pour: it looks like a good glass of wine. Many places use 4 oz. glasses with a 3oz. pour. Thats 8 glasses to a bottle!!

#4 KatieLoeb

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:52 PM

I do a five oz. pour. That works out to five glasses per bottle. I base all my calculations on that.

Katie M. Loeb
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#5 BonfireCuisine

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Posted 05 March 2005 - 12:18 AM

(sorry for the length)
Nice thread which got me to thinking about my apprenticeship and how I pour wine now – wine pouring was taught to me like this:

If the bottle was bought you’re supposed to pour a 6 oz pour for 4.5 glasses of wine per bottle. The idea is that, two glasses of wine is served. Then as the 3 round is poured, there isn’t enough and it gives the option (supposedly desire) to the guest to either get another single glass or bottle of wine.

If it was wine by the glass, I was told to pour 5oz so that we get 5 glasses per bottle. This gets the restaurant 5 glasses per bottle of wine.

Now flights are supposed to be 1.5oz pours, which is supposed to get you 14 glasses per bottle which is supposed to equal 5 full glasses of wine per bottle.
Or another way to look at it is, the flight is to equal one glass of wine divided by 3 (a flight being 3 sample glasses) thus equaling 5 – 5oz pours.

Of course for the restaurant ordering a flight is more money for the restaurant then if ordering wine by the glass. Let’s do the math…(from the last flight I had at this wine bar near where I live) the flight is $9 (the higher cost is because you’re getting a sample of 3 different wines) and if you do 3 flights it’s $27, now if you take 3 full glasses of each wine (normally) the single glass would be $6 to $8 which basically costs you $24.

Yes - your results will vary but this ratio is what you use to figure out what kind of sales you’re supposed to make per bottle based on how it’s served.

Now Pam and Mark got me thinking about the less then 5oz pours. When I order wine by the glass I never really pay attention to the kind of pour I would get. Up until now, I never really even thought about it. So with my trusty scale in hand I started playing with different wine glasses and pours. So that got me thinking, I have some of those 8oz wine glasses (those cheap-o ones that you buy at the supermarket) and I poured 4oz into it. I then took my nice 20oz wine glass and put 5oz into it. When you look at it, it appears you are getting more wine in the 8oz glass then you do in the 20oz wine glass. So like Mark said, restaurants are getting more glasses out of the bottle of wine. Now I’m not harping on restaurants, I’m more harping on myself for not paying attention to the type of pour I’m getting.

Thanks Pam and Mark for putting this bug in my ear, I haven’t read the other thread on waiter over pours but I’ll read it now.


Edited by BonfireCuisine, 05 March 2005 - 12:21 AM.

#6 ademello

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 05:29 PM

I know that in the U.K. there is some kind of mandate or moral code that obligates restuarnts to pour a small pour (125ml) or a large one (175ml). Many restaurants offer pours of both sizes, as well as a 75ml pour for dessert wines. My experience has been that the pour guides clearly marked on many glasses are more of a "not less than" guarantee; the 175ml pours tended to be quite generous. Maybe some locals have a better idea of exactly what the guidelines are...

Edited by ademello, 06 March 2005 - 05:30 PM.