Wine is a common alcoholic beverage that’s been around for centuries. It is usually made from grapes, which are fermented and left for a set time. The fermentation process produces alcohol.
Because of this, wine has the potential to be intoxicating. How can you enjoy wine while avoiding getting drunk? Read further to know more.
How much alcohol is in a glass of wine?
Different brands of wine have a range of alcohol content from 5% to 23% by volume. On average, most wines have 12% alcohol by volume (ABV). This means that for every 100 fluid ounces of wine, there are 12 fluid ounces of pure alcohol.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a standard glass of wine is 5 fluid ounces. At 12% ABV, that glass contains 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.
If you drink wine that is of a higher ABV than 12%, then one glass is more than one standard drink. With these kinds of wine, it takes less to get drunk.
How many glasses of wine does it take to get drunk?
Intoxication depends on several factors, including sex, body weight, age, and metabolism. Let’s have a look at these factors:
- Age: Generally, younger people can take more drinks than older ones before getting intoxicated.
- Sex: Women usually get drunk faster than men do.
- Body weight: People with higher body weight can take more drinks than those who are lightweight before getting drunk.
- Metabolism: Some people’s bodies can process alcohol faster than others. In turn, they can have more drinks before feeling the effects of intoxication.
- Food intake: If you had a full meal before drinking wine, you are less likely to get drunk faster than if you drink on an empty stomach.
- Water intake: If you drink lots of water while drinking wine, you will not get drunk as quickly as if you only drink wine.
If you’re looking for a definite number of glasses of wine you can take before getting drunk, there is none set in stone. But a good rule of thumb to follow is moderate drinking, which is defined as 1 glass of wine per day for women and 2 glasses a day for men. This statistic is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.
If you go beyond those numbers, then that’s considered heavy drinking. With this, you are at a greater risk of intoxication. And if you drink several glasses of wine per day, that’s called binge drinking. This is even more dangerous, as lots of alcohol can accumulate in your body and cause a good deal of problems.
What would happen if I get drunk with wine?
Intoxication affects both the brain and the body. Once you feel tipsy, your senses begin to feel distorted. You may feel your head spinning or the environment around you shaking. At best, you may experience a headache; at worst, you may become unconscious and collapse.
Also, at any level of drunkenness, driving is never safe. Your senses are already impaired, which affects your alertness and reaction time while behind the wheel. It’s not worth risking your life and the lives of other people on the road.
Thus, you must never drink and drive. It’s best to call a friend or family member who is sober to drive you home.
Additionally, wine has other health effects too. If you regularly drink a lot of it, you become prone to the following conditions:
- Alcohol poisoning
- Weakened immune system
- Heart diseases, high blood pressure, and stroke
- Liver diseases (e.g. cirrhosis, hepatitis)
- Digestive problems (e.g. pancreatitis, ulcers)
- Cancers of the liver, colon, breast, and others
- Brain diseases (e.g. dementia)
- Mental health conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety)
How would I know if I have a drinking problem?
If you do not limit your intake of wine, pretty soon you could face problematic drinking habits. This includes heavy drinking and binge drinking. Here is the difference between the two:
- Heavy drinking is defined as having more than 8 drinks per week for women and more than 15 drinks per week for men.
- Binge drinking is defined as having 4 drinks or more in 2 hours for women and 5 drinks or more in 2 hours for men.
Thus, if your drinking habits fit into these numbers, you are suffering from a drinking problem. This puts you at a greater risk of developing alcohol use disorder, a condition where you can no longer control your drinking habits. Excessive drinking also puts you at a great risk for alcohol poisoning.
What is alcohol use disorder?
Alcohol use disorder, also called informally as alcohol addiction, is a condition that makes it nearly impossible to curb your drinking habits. If you have this disorder, the compulsion to drink wine is so strong that any effort to quit would be unsuccessful.
Alcohol use disorder will also affect your lifestyle. You may end up missing work or ditching family responsibilities just to make time for drinking wine. You would spend more of your money on wine as well. Later on, you could end up in financial or legal trouble.
When you suffer from alcohol use disorder, it’s best to ask for professional help. That way, you can be given the best therapies to get you back to a sober life.
How can I enjoy wine without getting drunk?
The first rule of thumb is to know your limits. For example, if you get tipsy after your 4th glass of wine, then do not drink a 5th glass. Better yet, stick with 3 glasses only.
Another tip is to drink wine on a full stomach. Eat a proper meal first before drinking; that way, alcohol would not be absorbed into the bloodstream too quickly.
Also, drinking slowly is key. Take small sips of wine instead of downing the entire glass. Keep yourself hydrated as well: Drink water in between sips. This way, the alcohol that enters your body will not be too concentrated.
One more thing. If you know you must drive after a short while, do not drink wine at all. It’s better to be safe on the road than sorry.