In the United States, table wine is legally defined as wine made from grapes with an alcohol content under 14 percent by volume. Table wine can also be referred to as light wine, red table wine, white table wine and sweet table wine, depending on the style.
Table wine can be red or white and may be described as light, dry or sweet. The designation does not include sparkling wines or champagne, or fortified wines like port. Table wines are often served with meals.
Table wine can intoxicate a person as quickly as hard liquor. A 5-oz. glass of 12-percent table wine contains the same amount of alcohol as a 12-oz. beer, a 1.5-oz. shot of liquor or 3 to 4 oz. of fortified wine.
According to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the label for table wine doesn’t have to include the alcohol content. In contrast, wine with alcohol content above 14 percent, such as dessert wine, must disclose the alcohol content on the label.
References and ResourcesU.S. Government Printing Office: Labeling and Advertising of Wine
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau: Sample Wine Labels
Rethinking Drinking: What's a "Standard" Drink?
University of Wisconsin-Stout: Alcohol Myths and Facts
Wine Tastings Guide: Types of Wine
Wine Tastings Guide: Dry Wines or Table Wines