Serving Wine

Quantity, quantity quantity…  Not so fast.  Wine is not meant to be served all the way to the rim of the glass like beer or cocktails (ok, sparkling wines may be the exception!).  Fortunately for service professionals, if you have a bartender they are trained to serve the right amount of wine per your establishment’s guidelines per pour.  For wine enthusiasts, knowing what to expect is equally important.  Typically a wine serving will be between 6 oz and 9 oz and some establishments may even allow guests to order from multiple pre-set volumes or at minimum have the volume measurement stated on the “By the Glass” menu. 

As a Service Professional, if a bartender is not available at a restaurant and you are responsible for pouring the wine, or your table orders a bottle of wine, the best guidance is to let the glass do the work for you.  The exact same is true for Wine Enthusiasts!   We’ve covered wine glasses earlier in Module 5 and the purpose of the specific shape of the glass.  DOMSOM’s rule of thumb is to use the widest point in the bowl of the glass as your guide – pour just up to this point for a perfect pour.  A wine glass designed for big, bold cabs may look rather light compared to a traditional white wine glass, but we guarantee if you pour both into the same glass, the volume will be nearly identical.

When a wine enthusiast orders a bottle of wine, they know exactly how much wine they will get.  When ordering a glass of wine, however, expectations can be thrown out the window!  Whenever possible, we encourage service professionals to inform their customers what to expect when they order a glass of wine just as we encourage enthusiasts to ask their server how much wine is in a glass off the “By the Glass” menu. 

A bottle of wine contains 750ml, or 25oz of wine.  Fortunately, this amount is standard across the globe.  Half bottles, magnums, jeroboams and numerous other large volume bottles exist but nearly all wine lists feature traditional, or standard wine bottles.  As a rule of thumb one bottle should break down into 5 servings or wine.  While most of us at DOMSOM cannot remember ever getting 5 servings out of a bottle, restaurants and other social venues have liquor regulations they must comply with, and we are pretty sure a “to the rim” pour will not pass the test!

As for popping that cork, multiple styles of wine bottle openers are available.  Here are a few of the most frequently used options:


  • Winged “Butterfly” Corkscrew: 
  • “Bunny Ears” Corkscrew
  • Electric Wine Opener
  • Waiter’s Friend
  • Twist and Pull Corkscrew
  • Two Prong (Ah-So) Wine Opener

While there is no right or wrong answer to which you should use, each has its own benefits and challenges, and each can be purchased for very little or for a pretty penny!  The more bottles you open, the better you will get at any style.