The low risk guidelines in relation to wine
The UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) advise to keep risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest for men and women to not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Drinking more than six medium 175ml glasses of 13% ABV in a week wine will put adults over the low risk drinking guidelines.
If you regularly drink over these guidelines, you could be increasing your chances of developing long-term health conditions.
Find out if you're drinking too much
Check the strength of your wine
Checking wine's ABV (alcohol by volume) will give you a guide to how strong it is. The ABV tells you what percentage of the drink is made up of alcohol. For example, wine with 12% ABV is 12% pure alcohol. The higher the percentage, the more alcohol there is – so try opting for lower ABV wines.
Do you know what an alcohol unit is?
A large glass of wine contains as many calories as an ice cream
We often drink wine with a meal. But did you know that a large glass of wine (250ml) with 13% ABV can add 228 calories to your dinner? That’s similar to an ice cream or two fish fingers.
A standard glass of red or white wine (175ml) with 13% ABV could also contain up to 160 calories, similar to a slice of Madeira cake. Often when sharing wine, we assume we’re drinking less calories but a bottle of 13% ABV wine shared between two could mean you are consuming 340 calories each, that’s the equivalent of a chocolate croissant each.
Find out how many calories you're consuming with our Unit and Calorie Calculator and take look at our top tips on how to use up leftover wine once you’ve opened the bottle.
Things you can do right now to reduce the amount of wine you are drinking
Just one large glass of wine can put you over the low risk drinking guidelines. To stay on track, try these top tips:
1. Mind your measures: If you're used to drinking large glasses of wine, swap those cavernous 250ml wine glasses for 125ml ones – in the pub and at home. Remember to check the volume too. Wines with higher ABV have more alcohol.
2. Tackle your triggers: If you always have a glass of wine to celebrate a good day at work, or commiserate a bad one, try doing something else instead. An alcohol-free dinner out makes a feel-good treat, while a gym session is a great way to relieve stress
3. Give alcohol-free days a go: If you drink regularly, your body starts to build up a tolerance to alcohol. Many medical experts recommend taking regular days off from drinking to ensure you don't become addicted to alcohol. Test out having a break for yourself and see what positive results you notice
4. Treat yourself: Trade up to a special bottle of wine that's expensive enough to encourage you to savour it over a few days, rather than down it all in one night. This way, you'll space out the units you're consuming.
5. Track your drinking over time: If you choose to drink, recording exactly what you’ve drunk during the week will tell you whether you're keeping within the unit guidelines. Our free Drinkaware: Track and Calculate Units app is perfect for tracking your drinks when you’re out and about.
Tips to cut back on wine