At a restaurant last week, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop as a little skirmish unfolded at the next table.
A guest was bitterly complaining that the restaurant did not pour enough wine into his glass, saying, “When I pay for a glass of wine, I want a full glass.”
I’m sure most of us can sympathize. The issue was that the restaurant used big, gorgeous wine glasses. It would have taken the best part of a bottle to fill one. Even a generous amount of wine barely made the glass look half full.
This was not too much of an issue a decade ago, when most places used smaller glasses. A standard pour filled the glass to the rim. Today, wine glasses tend to be bigger, to allow the guest to move the wine around in the glass better to enjoy the aroma. But it does make some customers wary about the amount of the pour.
A bottle of wine is 750ml, or 25.4 ounces. The widely recognized standard glass of wine is 5 ounces. Many operations pour a bit more generously, serving 6 ounces. So there are four or five glasses in a bottle, depending on the amount served.
Lots of operators have begun serving measured pours of wine in small separate containers, to be poured at the table, so the guest can see the amount before it goes in the glass, and, if desired, control the pour themselves.
This untethers the wine from the standard amount in glass, allowing some creative drink sizing and pricing. It’s fun for wine retailers to do smaller 2- or 3-ounce tasting pours, so that a guest may create their own tasting menu or flight. A guest might choose an amount even bigger than a standard glass.
I love the quartino, a 250ml serving, that’s about a glass and a half. Lots of times, I just want a splash more wine, not another full glass. Half bottles of wine are hard to find, but a 12-ounce pour can be a terrific alternative. Both a quartino and a 12-ounce pour are fun with a wine-loving group, as you can order a few different wines and let everyone try a little of each. The separate, measured pour containers work because the wine can be poured in consistent amounts, and the guest can see the amount as well.
User-friendly pour sizes are a great way to sample and share wines – even if they don’t fill up those large glasses.