Wine FAQ: 10 Important Questions About Wine

Wine Marquee

If you’ve recently developed an appreciation for wine, or you’re just curious by nature, there are likely things you’ve wondered about.

Everything you learn about wine will help you enjoy it more.

With this in mind, we’ve put together Swizzle Club’s Wine FAQ. Here are the answers to the top 10 questions our readers have about wine!

Question #1: How Many Ounces Are in a Bottle of Wine?

Most wine purchased at grocery stores, liquor stores, or online retailers is sold in standard 750ml bottles. Many of the best wine fridges are set up to store 750ml bottles. A 750ml bottle holds 25.4 ounces of wine.

Some wines come in a 1.5L bottle referred to as a “magnum” which is equal to two 750ml bottles or 50.7 ounces of wine.

Question #2: How Many Glasses Are in Bottle of Wine?

In the United States, 5 ounces of wine is considered a standard pour. A standard 750ml (25.4 ounce) wine bottle yields just over 5 glasses of wine.

Question #3: How Many Ounces Are in a Glass of Wine?

Wine glasses are available in a wide range of styles, with larger capacity glasses being the current trend. 5 ounces of wine is considered a standard pour in the United States but 8-ounce servings have become common in many restaurants.

You are, of course, free to pour as much wine into your glass as you like at home. (No judgement!!)

Question #4: What is the Difference Between Red and White Wine Glasses?

There are many types of wine glasses available.

Each glass incorporates different design elements to emphasize characteristics inherent in a specific type of wine. Attributes like bouquet, body, tannins, or acidity are enhanced when wine is paired with the correct glass.

Wine Glasses

Red Wine Glasses

Red wine glasses have a larger bowl than glasses used for white wines.

Red wines tend to be more full-bodied than whites and are best served in wine glasses that have a larger, more roundly shaped bowl exposing more of the wine’s surface area to the air. Increased aeration highlights a red wine’s robust flavors and aromas.

White Wine Glasses

White wine glasses have smaller bowls and a longer stem when compared to red wine glasses.

The bowls will be less curved and have a smaller opening. The longer stem allows the wine drinker to hold the glass by them further from the bowl which prevents the wine from being warmed up by body heat – assuming you hold your wine glass by the stem!

Question #5: How Do You Hold a Wine Glass?

You should hold a wine glass by the stem, pinched between your thumb, index, and middle fingers. This lets you enjoy your wine without warming it up. If you’re feeling particularly fancy, feel free to extend your pinky!

You should never hold a glass of wine by the bowl.  If you do, your body heat will warm the wine up, diminishing its flavor – and you’d likely get fingerprints (or palm prints) all over the glass.

Question #6: How Many Calories Are in Glass of Wine?

Dry wines with 12% alcohol by volume contain around 120 calories per standard 5 ounce serving. Sweeter wines, or wines with higher alcoholic content contain more calories.

Question #7: How Long Should You Let Wine Breathe?

Letting wine breathe refers to the process of exposing wine to air for a period of time before serving it. Most wines – red and white – improve within a half hour of opening the bottle.

Not all wines need to breathe before you serve them, but it can make a big difference for younger red wines that need maximum aeration or older red wines with noticeable sediment. White wines or sparkling wines typically don’t typically need aeration.

To be clear, merely removing the cork from a bottle of wine doesn’t do much. Very little of the wine is exposed to the air while it remains in the bottle. Swirling wine around in your glass provides more aeration. Pouring the entire bottle of wine into a decanter then waiting half an hour or so is ideal.

Wine decanters usually have a wide reservoir the expose as much of the wine’s surface area to the air as possible.

Wine Decanter

Question #8: How Should You Store Red Wine After Opening It?

You should re-cork wine after each glass you pour. If you can’t finish the entire bottle, it should be stored away from direct sunlight below room temperature. Putting your leftover red wine in the fridge will definitely help it last longer.

Question #9: How Long Does Open Wine Last in the Fridge?

Stored upright, with the cork in, previously opened white or rosé wines will usually remain fresh for 2 – 3 days. Red wines are good for 3 – 5 days.

Question #10: Why Is Wine Stored on Its Side?

A wine bottle that is sealed with a cork should be stored on its side. This keeps the cork from drying out. A dry cork can shrivel up and let air in, causing the wine to age prematurely.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our Wine FAQ as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it – and you’ll be pleased to know there’s more! There is an entire section on Swizzle Club devoted to articles on wine.


By Michael

Chief mixologist and cocktail enthusiast at Swizzle Club.