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Why I created wine glasses for responsible drinking?

6 min read

Why I created wine glasses for responsible drinking?


Everyone’s relationship with their favourite wine is sacred and not to be meddled with.

But lately our unique brand of Aussie drinkware has been flying off the shelves, roughly correlating with the booming alcohol sales when isolation started and home schooling began. It continues as we work from home and maintain social distancing. So I thought I would share how I conceived the idea and what possessed me to bring this product to market. 


What’s a responsible amount of alcohol anyway? It’s such a personal question...

Unless you ask a health professional, then they are very clear. More on that later.


What’s a responsible amount of alcohol anyway?


I’m an unlikely person to create this product. I’m not a wine connoisseur or in the homeware business.

The idea was first conceived in an argument. Like many a good idea. My partner and I were in heated debate who was safe to drive, after both enjoying some drinks. Do you empathise? Have you had the same experience and passing worry about the same thing?


The idea was first conceived in an argument


Unless you consumed a whole bottle of wine or beer, where the total number of standard drinks is labelled... you wouldn’t have a clear idea how much you had. 

I wondered how many people over the years have left a restaurant or a friends house thinking they had a few drinks and are OK to drive... but turned out to be a lot more. Booze buses are everywhere! I break a sweat even if I hadn't been drinking.


As an aside, we operated an Italian restaurant ourselves for a few years... and there was no real consistency in how much our staff poured. GoodFood did a study and found a typical service of wine can range from 145ml to 190ml. This can be 1.5 to 2 times a standard drink.
In any case, the same serving size for all drinks doesn’t account for the strength of the alcohol. As a chemical engineer and a chemist, intuitively I recognised that problem and I wanted to solve it (if you’re a fellow chemist you would appreciate the inverse relationship between concentration and volume). 


My research also found that 80% of people cannot recognise a standard drink pour. So there was a need out there particularly as 70% of alcohol is consumed in peoples homes (which grew significantly with the recent social isolation).


80% of people cannot recognise a standard drink drink. So there was a need out there...


Breathalysers you say? Not sure about you, but the idea of firstly buying a $300 breathalyser and secondly blowing into one in the dark cabin of my car feels... well... illicit! I certainly wouldn't be offering that to my guests.

Surely there is a more sophisticated way, than just guessing the number of drinks.

Our solution is offering your guests a means to consume consciously by pouring with true awareness. Simply put, real standard drink pour lines for their drink of choice. You can make this yourself at home if you're handy.

  • 250ml for 5%
  • 125ml for 10%
  • 90ml for 14%
  • 70ml for 18%
  • 30ml for 40% spirits


Click to explore our standard drink glassware range


Fancy drinking out of a measuring cup?

Neither did I.

So we discreetly integrated the pour lines into our logo, our signature standard drink pour system, etched onto stunning premium grade crystalware. Actually it was surprisingly difficult, but I won’t bore you with the trials and tribulations of manufacturing. Many a factory turned us down or said it was impossible what we were asking for - laser on the delicate curve of the crystal glass with high precision and fine lines! 

Long story short it was a 2 year journey to arrive at a quality product I would be proud to show off at my own dinning table. What’s remarkable is no one has done this before. It’s a world first. Designed right here in Australia. 


Many a factory...said it was impossible. It was 2 year journey to arrive at a quality product I would be proud to show off at my own dinning table


Would I say that being older (read: body not like it once was) and having a family (read: responsibilities that won't quit) factored into making this product a reality? Sure! 


What’s been even more remarkable is hearing from our customers. What started as a simple idea to solve a common problem “how much did I really have to drink?”... I’ve since learned a few more unexpected applications beyond being a responsible host.


Unexpected applications beyond being a responsible host


Stephanie J in NZwho is a “Wine rep with histamine intolerance, that’s why I ordered your glasses! Don’t want to give up wine completely.” I fully sympathise as a few years ago I discovered the same intolerance and it is a reason I’m very careful with how much alcohol I consume now days. Kate R in NSW shared her excitement to use our glasses as “having friends who are breastfeeding so I know I can genuinely offer 1 standard drink if we catch up!” Turns out the recommendation for Australian Breastfeeding Association is 1 standard drink and wait 2hours before nursing again.
Tina from Denmark “I am buying the glasses for health reasons. I have always been a responsible drinker AND at the same time enjoy my wine. I want to stay below the danish recommendations of 7 units a week for women, that fits me well! Thank you for bringing an awesome product to the market.” A serious story from Jane in WA who lost her husband in a drink driving accident. I know that’s a bit heavy but reminds me our product can truly save lives. We’ve had parents of older kids like Quentin from TAS, who wanted to “encourage awareness of standard drinks in my household”.


All BAC Apps rely on people entering the estimated number of standard drinks or volume they’ve consumed to calculate their Blood Alcohol Content over time. I found that strange but realise again our glasses solves a problem here as you won’t need to guess.


It wasn’t until I came across this statistic that my jaw dropped: “A bottle of wine is equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes for women with undeniable links to breast cancer”.


Tina from Denmark was on the ball it seems. Did you know there are ACTUALLY recommended healthy drinking guidelines in Australia to minimise these health risks?

Hold onto your seat.

It's a maximum of "10 standard drinks a week or 4 standard drinks on any occasion". This is definitely the last thing on our minds when we are enjoying a relaxing evening with friends and family. Wine time is sacred - stay away right?


Well, last year I met Natasha Wilton, a Melbourne based dietician and mother of 3. She used our glassware at one her functions and shared examples of health conditions where alcohol intake should be carefully managed and our glasses can help. Of course the obvious option is to not drink at all when your health demands that. Have you seen the growing sobriety movement? Social media influencers promoting the amazing results of abstinence. It’s certainly challenging the drinking culture in Australia. Low alcohol and non alcohol drinks are flooding the market, offering us all healthier choices.

For me, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I’m not a fan of extremes. Moderation may not be popular because it takes effort...but it’s the ultimate prize. Now our glassware make moderation effortless.


For me, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I'm not a fan of extremes.


If you reflect on your life, what are stand out moments? Beautiful occasions like weddings, birthdays... connecting with friends and family, backyard bbqs ... celebrating a new home, a promotion... or is it the beauty in the mundane, the regular sunday night family dinners, board game nights.

Beautiful tableware is part of all those moments. It's never in the spotlight, but a key supporting actor. I like knowing we support conscious consumption in life's stand out moments, which is not an easy task in a world obsessed with excess. 


Hey, thanks for reading to the end.

We are excited to continue on this unexpected business journey and helping every day folk consume just the right amount for the perfect time. Whether that's adorning your next memorable occasion with stunning tableware or some self-care with a mindful drink at the end of the night. 

Signing Off



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Click to explore our standard drink glassware range

The Standard Drink Company



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