Drinking Guidelines


Waitrose is passionate about helping its customers choose a healthy and balanced diet. The following pages provide you with information and advice about responsible drinking.

How much can I drink?

The UK Government defines daily sensible drinking as:

  • Men should not regularly consume more than: 3-4 units of alcohol
  • Women should not reguarly consume more than: 2-3 units of alcohol

1 unit: 25ml measure of spirit (40% alcohol), 50ml glass of sherry, port or vermouth (20% alcohol), ½ pint beer, cider or lager (3.5% alcohol)

1.5 units: 125ml glass of wine (12% alcohol)

2 units: 175ml glass of wine (12% alcohol), 1 pint beer, lager or cider (3.5% alcohol)

Useful tools to help you keep track of your alcohol consumption can be found at:



An initiative run by the Drink Aware Trust, this web site is a useful source of information about alcohol and drinking.

For more information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk (this link opens a new window).


Hints & tips

  • Try mixing wine with sparkling water to make a spritzer - you’ll drink less alcohol but still enjoy a drink.
  • Switch to bottled beers instead of pints to cut down on the amount you drink.
  • Switch to a lower alcohol strength drink such as the Waitrose Low Alcohol Cider.
  • You don’t have to finish a bottle of wine - replace screw top or use a stopper.  Wine will keep for around three days.
  • Check the size of your wine glasses.  A small glass of wine is 125ml but at home we tend to be more generous so go easy.
  • Invest in a spirit measure so you don’t overpour, and try having a long gin and tonic with a 25cl measure instead of a glass of wine.
  • Try having a number of alcohol free days every week.
  • For a great alternative to cocktails, try the occasional mocktail.
  • For a great alternative to red wine try Waitrose Merlot Grape Juice.

Allergens and wine

You may have noticed a change to our wine labels as we introduced allergen information. Egg and milk proteins are commonly used to fine/clarify wines during the wine making process. Under new EU legislation we are obliged to label these allergens as well sulphites when they are used in our wines accordingly:

Allergens: Contains egg*, milk * and sulphites

* Used during clarification

Note: The egg and milk proteins are removed during processing and are unlikely to cause an effect to milk or egg allergic individuals.

Alcohol and pregnancy

For information on alcohol and pregnancy, please visit our pregnancy webpage. Click here

Alcohol and the law

Except for 16 and 17 year olds having a drink with a meal in a pub or licensed premises accompanied by an adult, it's against the law for anyone under 18 to buy alcohol in a pub, off-licence, supermarket or other outlet, or for anyone to buy alcohol in a pub or off licence for someone under 18.

For more information

Find out more about alcohol and your health: