Scottish MP Michael Matheson is urging Scotland’s bars and pubs to promote the sale of smaller measures of wine.

Apparently many pubs and bars often only sell wine in medium (175ml) and large (250ml) measures, resulting in consumers drink more alcohol than they may realise.

A 250ml glass of wine is about a third of a bottle – approximately 3 units, while a 125ml glass contains about one-and-a-half units of alcohol.

3 units is more than a woman’s daily recommended intake of alcohol and equivalent to a man’s recommended daily intake.

The government recommends that women drink no more than 14 units of alcohol weekly and men up to 21 units weekly.

Many people do not realise the health impact of alcohol consumption beyond the damage it may do to your liver.

Whilst there is some evidence to suggest that small amounts of alcohol may offer some protection against heart disease, this has be weighed against its contribution to cancers such as mouth cancer, throat cancer, breast cancer, bowel  and liver cancer.  Limit consumption to 1-2 drinks a day – noting the amount of units you consume rather than the number of drinks but be aware that any alcohol consumption can raise your risk.

Empty calories

The drink aware website ( contains useful information about alcohol that you may not be aware of.

For example did you know that drinking alcohol also reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy?  Alcohol provides empty calories with  no nutrient value.  While we can store other nutrients in our bodies, we can’t store alcohol so our systems want to get rid of it, and doing so takes priority.  All of the other processes that should be taking place (including absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted.

Alcohol is also calorific – a 250ml glass of red wine can add another 200kcals to your daily requirements!

What is a unit?

  • A pint and a half of beer (4%) is 3-4 units
  • A pint and half of cider (4.5%) is 3-4 units
  • 3 – 4 glasses of spirits (40%) 25ml measure is 3-4 units
  • 3  bottles of alcopops (4%) 275ml is 3-4 units
  • 1 large wine (13%) 250ml is 3-4 units


So try to be more aware of what you are drinking and how it may affect your body.

I recommend that you have at least 2 alcohol free days a week and make sure that you stick to your limit on the days you do choose to drink.