As a wine lover you’ve probably used the expression “It’s Wine O’Clock!” If you haven’t, it’s time to start using it. What does wine o’clock it mean and when is it exactly?

When Is Wine O’Clock According to the Oxford English Dictionary?

Wine O’clock refers to that perfect and acceptable time to pour yourself a glass of wine. This is more than just an expression, it’s a real thing. It even appears in the Oxford English Dictionary as “an appropriate time of day for starting to drink wine.”


What Is An Appropriate Time of Day to Start Drinking Wine?


Wine O’Clock Used in a Sentence:

I’ve had a long day. Is it wine o’clock yet? I could use a Merlot right about now?


No one really knows the answer to the eternal question “When can I start drinking wine?” You will often see someone pour a glass of wine and then say: “Well, it’s 5 O’Clock somewhere.”

The Urban Dictionary has this to say about Wine O’Clock:

a time for wine, often around early evening (5pm-ish). It is similar to “Beer O’Clock” in that it can be anytime a wine appreciator (read: “wino”) feels that some good vino might just hit the spot


So is five o’clock, wine o’clock? Is it just the ingrained time in our heads because that is the start of happy hour at the end of the traditional workday? What if you are having brunch? Does that mean you can’t have a Mimosa? If you’re having lunch and that steak is just calling to be paired with a glass of Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, then surely it must be acceptable to have wine at noon?

There seem to be a lot of rules and exceptions, so how do you know for sure if you are being a wine lover or have gone over the edge into wino?


The experts on proper etiquette, Good Housekeeping, spoke with wine experts from Decanter to The Wine Show to tell us the most appropriate time to drink wine, including:


Here are a few more quick reads about wine: