Larger glasses may encourage us to drink more
Whenever I offer to top up my wife’s wine glass she inevitably asks me to pour a smaller than normal measure. “Just a touch” is the phrase she uses. Marion believes that if I pour more she will drink more. I, on the other hand, think that if I pour more I will have to get up and top her glass less often.
A recent paper published in the British Medical Journal on research done at the University of Cambridge suggests that Marion may well be right.
After studying the size of wine glasses from 1700 to the present day, the researchers concluded that wine glasses increased in size from just 62mls in 1700 to an average of 432mls today. That’s a whopping seven-fold increase.
More than half of that increase took place from the 1900s when over-sized wine glasses became popular, particularly in the US. Georg Riedel has got a lot to answer for.
Wine consumption in the UK and US has soared, particularly since the 1960s. That doesn’t necessarily prove that bigger glasses are linked to higher consumption, although previous studies have found that larger plate sizes can increase food consumption.
From my point of view, larger glasses do heighten the pleasure of wine drinking, which might encourage us to throw caution to the winds and drink a little more than we originally planned.
The researchers concluded:
“We cannot infer that the increase in glass size and the rise in wine consumption in England are causally linked,” the study’s authors wrote. “Nor can we infer that reducing glass size would cut drinking. Our observation of increasing size does, however, draw attention to wine glass size as an area to investigate further in the context of population health.”