You and Wine Tasting.

In New Zealand a ‘Standard Drink’ is one that contains 10 grams (about 12.5ml) of alcohol. The standard drinks measure is a simple way for you to work out how much alcohol you are drinking.

All beverages are labelled with their per cent alcohol by volume (i.e. 5%), and the number of standard drinks in the container. (i.e. 1.3 standard drinks). It is important to note that drink serving sizes are often more than one standard drink.

Examples of ‘Standard Drink’ Calculations

  • A 150ml glass of 13% alcohol wine = 1.54 standard drinks.
  • A tasting nip (20ml) of 13% alcohol wine = 0.2 standard drinks.

Current legal limits

  • Drivers under 20 years – zero.
  • Drivers over 20 years – 250mcg breath or 50mg (BAC 0.05%) blood.

Alcohol Consumption In Terms Of ‘Standard Drinks’

The general rule of thumb is that 2 “Standard Drinks” in the first hour will raise your Blood Alcohol Concentration to 0.05%, and one “Standard Drink” per hour thereafter will maintain that level.

To do a quick calculation of whether you are over 0.05% BAC simply take the number of hours since your first drink and add 1 to it. This is the number of “Standard Drinks” that you could have in that period. Then calculate the number of “Standard Drinks” that you actually had, and compare the 2 results.


You have been tasting wine at several wineries for the past five hours. 5 (hours) +1 = 6 standard drinks “allowed” during that time.

At the first four wineries you tasted six wines at each: (6 x 20ml) = 1.23 standard drinks x 4 wineries = 4.9 standard drinks. At the fifth and sixth winery, you only tasted two wines at each (4 x 20ml) = 0.8 standard drinks.

Your total would be roughly 5.7 standard drinks consumed over the past 5 hours.



Please note: On Yer Bike Hawke’s Bay Ltd. does not endorse drink driving or the excessive consumption of alcohol. Blood alcohol calculations and standard drink calculations are to be used as a guide only. It is your responsibility to monitor and regulate your alcohol consumption.