How Much Wine To Get Drunk?

how much wine to get drunk

Drinking wine can get out of hand quickly because it’s so easy to consume.

Not to mention, a glass of good wine tastes really good, unlike, let’s say, liquor or beer (but don’t get me wrong, I have consumed good-tasting liquor and beer).

But with liquor, you can usually taste the alcohol and its effects pretty fast. On the other hand, with beer, you can consume more since it has less alcohol.

Then there’s wine – it goes down so well that most often, you don’t even realize you’ve consumed too much. A good wine can be intoxicating in good and not-so-good ways.

So, the next time you open a bottle of wine or go to a wine tasting event, know how much wine it will take to get you drunk.

Table of Contents

Beer vs. Wine vs. Liquor

how much wine to get drunk

All these drinks have one in common – they all contain alcohol. By how much, well, it depends.

  • Beer – ranging from 4% to 7% ABV
  • Wine – typically between 12% to 15% ABV, but some can have lower or higher alcohol content than this range. For example, Port, Marsala, Madiera can have an alcohol concentration of 20% or more.
  • Liquors (gin, vodka, whiskey) – ranges from 28% to 60%, sometimes even more (in the case of vodka and some whiskeys and rums), depending on the type of liquor.

But here’s the thing – besides the ABV scale, how much beer, wine, or liquor you ingest, also matters. For example, you’re more likely to get drunk if you finish a whole bottle of wine than a shot of vodka, even if the vodka has a much higher alcohol concentration than wine.

So, how do you know the amount of alcohol that can get you drunk (regardless of whether you’re drinking beer, wine, or liquor)? You need to calculate your blood alcohol level using a BAC calculator!


Below is chart created by Loyola University Maryland for Estimating Blood Alcohol Concentration (Based on Weight and Gender):

Estimating Blood Alcohol Concentration
(Based on Weight and Gender)


What do these numbers mean?

how much wine to get drunk

What Are the Factors of Getting Drunk?

Of course, a lot of things can affect your drunkenness, but here are some more obvious factors that affect your intoxication after drinking wine.

Gender and Size

Females tend to be smaller in build than males. Meaning, there’s less space in the female body for the alcohol to dilute itself.

Fat is also an important factor in getting drunk (or avoiding it). Alcohol doesn’t mix well with fat. Since higher fat content means lesser water-soluble spaces in the body, it leads to much higher blood alcohol concentration.

Basically, gender and size (high-fat content vs. lean muscle) affect how easily you get drunk or avoid getting drunk.


Regardless of your gender and size, drinking can increase your alcohol tolerance.

So the first time you drink alcohol, you’ll get drunk quicker, but as your body gets used to the alcohol, it learns to process it quicker.

Alcohol Metabolism Rate

On average, alcohol can leave your body at around one standard drink per hour (for men). The higher or lower your alcohol metabolism rate will affect how short or long you feel the effects of alcohol.

Empty Stomach

Not eating or drinking water is a surefire way for you to get drunk faster.

An empty stomach means there’s less water content in the body. So, once you start drinking wine, there’s a higher alcohol content your body needs to process.

What to do NOT to Get Drunk?

Here’s how to drink more without getting drunk!

Eat Before Drinking

Never drink on an empty stomach. Eat foods high in nutritious protein and fats since they delay alcohol absorption, thus, increasing your alcohol tolerance.

Before I go on a wine tour in Napa or any wine tour for that matter, I always have breakfast.


Drinking water before drinking wine or in between glasses of wine will help dilute the alcohol, keeping you sober longer.

And if you’re going on a wine tour or tasting, it’s actually considered appropriate to spit the wine out. (Though I’m not a fan of this move, if I’m drinking a lot, I’m spitting it out.)

Understand Your Limits

If you’ve drunk before, you most probably know your alcohol tolerance. If not, maybe you can try experimenting at home.

Pace Yourself

Here’s the thing, wine is so easy to keep drinking without knowing how drunk you already are. But always pace yourself. Take your time to enjoy the wine slowly, and you could always eat while you drink. And as a matter of fact, the wine aerates more and evolves as you wait!

Get Some Fresh Air

Surprisingly, getting some fresh air outside definitely helps! It’s not magic – it’s science. Stepping outside helps cool you down, lowering your body temperature, helping sober you up.

Most Importantly: If you plan on drinking, don’t forget to plan to get a ride back home. Never drink and drive.

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