Knowing how much wine your body can take goes beyond curiosity. Perhaps you’re going on a first date and don’t want to ruin your chances. Or maybe you’re invited to a business party. While it’s perfectly fine to get wasted during a party with friends, the same can’t be said about a party with colleagues, bosses, and business partners. Even if a little bit of the beverage has got to your head, it can put you in some pretty awkward situations.
Regardless of your reason for not getting drunk, knowing how much your body can take is beneficial for knowing when to stop.
Knowing The Factors For Consideration
Amount Of Alcohol In Wine
Before determining how many glasses of wine can make you wasted, you should know how much alcohol is in the wine. There can be varied answers to this, as the alcoholic drink can be as strong as spirit and as light as beer.
For example, the Italian light-alcohol wine, Moscato d’Asti, only has a 5.5% alcohol concentration. Regular beers often have the same alcohol concentration, so you’ll probably be able to drink a handful of glasses before the wine hits you.
On the other hand, Madeira, Marsala, Sherry, and Port can have an alcohol concentration between 15%-20%, so you may want to drink in moderate amounts.
Now that you know wine can have 5% and over 20% alcohol by volume (ABV), you should also throw your tolerance to alcohol into the game. Alcohol tolerance indicates your body’s response to alcohol and the effects that alcohol has on you. Generally, alcohol tolerance differs so widely from person to person. Gender, age, weight, genetics, and other factors play a role in how a person tolerates alcohol. That’s a lot to consider, but unless knowing all these factors, it’s difficult to tell how much wine can make you drunk.
When you regularly drink alcohol, you also build up your alcohol tolerance. This is because your brain’s receptors gradually adapt to alcohol’s effects. The effects are not as strong, so you’re able to drink more alcohol.
If it’s the first time to drink wine, two glasses in an hour can make you drunk. But after constant exposure to wine, you’ll probably be able to drink up to five glasses before getting drunk.
Understanding The Levels of Drunkenness
When you drink wine, the full effects may take some time to become recognizable. Depending on several factors, there are somewhat predictable levels of drunkenness through which you may progress as your drinking continues.
Sobriety: The initial level of drunkenness is called sobriety. This is reached when you consume a minimal amount of wine and don’t appear to be drunk. Sobriety usually occurs at a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) below 0.01%-0.05%.
Euphoria: The next level of intoxication, euphoria, occurs between a BAC of 0.03%-0.12%. At this level, you feel more confident, become more talkative, and feel mildly euphoric. The inhibitions also start to be reduced.
While the effects of wine on the euphoria level may be desirable, the unfavourable effects may also begin to appear. These include impaired judgement, memory, and coordination. Your motor skill responses may also be significantly more delayed at this time than when you are sober.
In addition, you may experience impaired alertness, making you unable to process information and recognize danger as rapidly.
Excitement: When you have BAC levels of 0.09% to 0.25%, you’re considered legally intoxicated. The effects within the excitement level vary from one person to another. Some people get excited and happy one minute and then get depressed the next. Besides the changeable mood, people at this level of BAC may become very lethargic, and their judgment is significantly affected.
Confusion: The fourth level of drunkenness, confusion, occurs at 0.18%-0.30% BAC. This is a potentially alarming blood-alcohol concentration. Even when you’re an experienced drinker, your emotional control, reflexes, judgment, and motor coordination will be significantly affected at this level. You may also experience a decreased pain sensitivity, which can lead to a risk of substantial injury.
Stupor: At a BAC of 0.25%-0.40%, you’re considered to be in a severely intoxicated state. As you enter the stupor level of intoxication, you’re close to a state of unconsciousness. You may experience slurred or incoherent speech and loss of control over motor abilities. At this point, it’s recommended to get medical attention. Stupor comes with risks of seizures, arrhythmia, and hypothermia. You can’t just “sleep it off” either as you may choke on your own vomit or suffer a respiratory arrest.
Coma: The sixth level of intoxication is called a coma. When you enter this state, it’s imperative that you’re unconscious and at risk of further complications such as death. It’s usual to fall asleep after drinking wine or any alcohol; that’s why people sometimes fail to distinguish a person entering an alcohol-induced coma. Typically, 0.35%-0.45% BAC causes an alcohol-induced coma. At this level, a person requires immediate medical help.
Death: A BAC over 0.45% can lead to death, the final stage of drunkenness. When the body experiences alcohol poisoning, it may fail to process the effects fast enough to keep pace with the level of drunkenness. Generally, a BAC of 0.45% will possibly result in death, so anyone with over this 0.45% BAC indeed ends up dead because the body will shut down.
Calculating How Much Wine To Get Drunk
Unfortunately, if you want to determine how much you have to drink to get drunk, there is no surefire way to do it. But the following hacks can help you. Set up a video recorder, open a bottle of wine, fill up your glass, and drink. You’ll feel the effects of wine over your body and know you’re intoxicated. Review the recorder when you’re sober and assess how many glasses of wine it took for you to get drunk.
As discussed above, you are considered legally drunk when you reach a BAC level of 0.09%-0.25%. Thus, it would also help to calculate your BAC, which will give you a guide on what to expect at that point you get drunk. There are a couple of reliable BAC calculators online which will let you know how your BAC is doing. If you are a 150-pound woman and you have had more than 5 glasses of wine in an hour, your calculator will likely show a BAC of 0.20% and will warn you not to drive.
After finding out how much wine can get you drunk, you can now drink wine at a business party, knowing full-well when to stop. But, if you really want to ensure you don’t end up in some awkward situations, drinking no more than two glasses is the way to go.