Responsible Drinking

Estimating Drinks For A Party

Parties should entertain people, not intoxicate them. From experience we characterize event moods as either more Thoughtful or Thirsty and measure wine quantities accordingly.

Typical characteristics and measurements for each event mood:

Thoughtful Thirsty
General behaviour Smaller pours, prudent consumption Larger pours, standard consumption
Approach Tasting, evaluating, discussing Chatting, eating, drinking
Pour size (per wine) Min. 0.7 dl Min 0.9 dl
Consumption rate 1-1.5 dl / hour 2 dl first hour, 1 dl / hour after
Relationships Colleagues, acquaintances Friends
Event purpose Networking, reconnecting Celebrating, meeting new people
Weekday Weeknights Fridays & Saturdays
Timing Event starts and ends earlier Event starts and ends later
Exit Plan People tend to leave early People tend to stay late
Event end Wine runs out = event over Fine with leftover bottles

Standard Drinks and Pouring Responsibly

Practical measurement of alcohol consumption typically revolves around a 'Standard Drink', roughly equating to one normal-sized alcoholic beverage, e.g., glass of wine, bottle of beer, moderate-sized cocktail.

Countries define a standard drink differently, most often ranging from 10-12 grams (about 13-16 ml) of pure alcohol in a beverage, for example in the UK 8g, France/Italy/Spain 10g, Switzerland & USA 12g, Germany 14g. Recommended alcoholic intake then consists of 1.5-2.0 standard drinks per day. 

In Switzerland a standard wine pour (in restaurants, for example) contains 1dl (100ml). An average glass of white wine at 12-13.5% alcohol by volume (abv) or red wine at 13.0-14.5% abv represents about 1-1.1 standard drinks, respectively. In other words, a 1dl pour = one drink. To evaluate or "taste" wine, trained professionals require significantly less, perhaps 20ml. A "normal" person typically pours 30-40ml as a small taste.

If you are accustomed to UK or USA restaurant standard glass of wine pours of 175ml, realize that you and guests should pour as little as 1/4 of what you'd receive at a restaurant at a wine tasting.


Consumption and Blood Alcohol Content

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers in Switzerland is 0.5mg/ml (0.05%), the same as most of Europe. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for driving after drinking in Switzerland. When going to a party:

    • simply DO NOT drive there
    • take public transportation
    • take an Uber
    • take a taxi
    • if you must drive, assign a designated non-drinking driver before arrival

The general rule of thumb is that 2 standard drinks in the first hour will raise your BAC to 0.05%, and one standard drink per hour thereafter will maintain that level; . This rate of consumption or below at a social occasion can be considered "responsible".


Sipster's Recommendations

Sipster estimates a suitable number of wine bottles for your party based on information provided by you--party duration, number of participants and predicted behaviour descriptions above--and globally accepted guidelines for responsible drinking:

    • expected pours more than a small "taste" and less than a Swiss standard drink, i.e., 70-90ml
    • consumption not exceeding 2 standard drinks in the first hour and 1 standard drink each hour afterwards, based on your estimate of party duration

Sipster / Uncorked GmbH is in no way responsible for your alcohol consumption or actions or your guests' consumption or actions at any time during or any time after your event. Have fun and drink responsibly!