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Are you a wine lover?

It's not clear how 'healthy' wine is, but there's plenty of evidence that too much can lead to health problems. What is too much? Knowing how much we drink over a period of time may help us make decisions about our health and the effect alcohol can have.

This page provides information and advice from our alcohol harm reduction campaign "Are you a wine lover?".

Size of glasses

  • Two small (125ml) glasses of wine (12% ABV) equate to three units. But if this is on a regular basis, it can all add up.
  • Three to four (125 ml) glasses of wine can be up to six units. Maybe it is just two glasses, but your home poured measures could be more generous, leading to you drinking more than you expected.
  • An empty bottle could have held nine units. Maybe you were drinking socially and glasses were constantly topped up, you would have soon passed the recommended daily intake. This may lead to long term effects on your body.

Perfect measures

Consider the size of your glass of wine. The difference between two large and two small glasses of wine can be significant and over a period of time may lead to increased health risks. Why not try measuring your glass of wine, in the same way as many people do with their food ingredients.

Thinking more, drinking less

What are you drinking?

Many people don't have a realistic idea of how much they're drinking. A good place to start is by finding out just how many units there are in your favourite tipple. Keeping a drink diary can be a good way of keeping track.

What is an alcohol unit?

One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. This equals one 25ml single measure of whisky (ABV 40%), or a third of a pint of beer (ABV 5-6%) or half a standard (175ml) glass of red wine (ABV 12%).

Adults should not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

If you are taking any prescription medication, be aware that combining it with alcohol could put you at risk, or that drinking alcohol could reduce how well the medicine works.

Drinking too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers and damage to your heart. For more information on the impact drinking can have on your health, follow the links on this web page. If you're worried about your drinking, you should consult your GP.

Tips on cutting down

  • On your side: If you let your friends and family know you're cutting down and that it's important to you, you may get their support.
  • Take it a day at a time: Try and cut back a little each day - then every day you do is a success.
  • Make it a smaller one: You can still enjoy a drink but go for smaller sizes. Try bottled beer or a small glass of wine.
  • Have a lower-strength drink: Cut down the alcohol by swapping strong wines for ones with a lower strength ABV percentage.
  • Take a break: Have the odd day here and there each week when you don't have a drink.
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  • Are you a wine lover -
Contact us
Public Health
03000 264 109
Our address is:
  • County Hall
  • Adult and Health Services
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UJ
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