ABV is the acronym for “Alcohol by Volume”. It is the standard measure for how much alcohol is present in any given alcoholic beverage. It is normally measured in number of millilitres (ml) of pure ethanol present in 100 ml of an alcoholic drink. It appears to the consumer in a percentage, usually on the product label.
In the UK the guidelines for a low risk alcohol consumption is described in units of alcohol. According to www.drinkaware.co.uk one unit of alcohol is 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is.
According to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO), in order to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level, the advice is not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.
What one unit of alcohol looks like:
When it comes to wine, the percentage of alcohol tends to be between 11% and 14%.
Which means that a glass of wine can range between just over one unit and more than three units depending on the size of the glass and type of wine.
A standard 75cl bottle of wine at an average of 13% ABV will contain 9.8 units of alcohol which means that according to drinkaware.co.uk you should have no more than 1.3 bottles of wine per week (one bottle + 300ml). That is about 150ml glass of wine /day.
When it comes to the maximum legal amount of alcohol allowed when driving in England, Scotland And Wales, it is 8gr of alcohol per 100ml of blood or 1unit of alcohol. That equals to 76ml of wine with a 13% ABV. The effect of alcohol, however, varies from person to person so it really is difficult to gauge how much you could drink while staying within the law.
Our advice: enjoy your wine at home among friends and family while respecting the Authority’s guidelines for a low risk consumption.