The Amount of Wine You Drink is Determined by the Glass

By  , Agency News
Oct 01, 2013

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  • Drinkers unintentionally poured larger servings when their glasses were wider.
  • Similar observations were recorded when pourers held glass in their hands.
  • Avoiding such situations can lead to pouring 9-12 % less wine.
  • The findings can keep a handle on how much wine you serve and consume.

You might want to blame the glass every time you pour wine with a heavy hand. The amount of wine you pour can be determined by the size, shape and location of a wine glass- according to a new study.

drinking habitsThe research was done to look at how environmental factors impact drinking experience after witnessing how similar factors like plate size and food labels impact eating behaviour. A person while serving wine may think of it as one serving, it could be actually be closer to two or three. It can easily lead to consuming more alcohol than you intend to.

The study was done by Doug Walker, Laura Smarandescu, and Brian Wansink from Iowa State and Cornell Universities. "If you want to pour and drink less wine, stick to the narrow wine glasses and only pour if your glass is on the table or counter and not in your hand, in either case you'll pour about 9-12 per cent less," Wansink said.

It was observed that unknowingly, drinkers pour larger servings of wine when they are holding glasses in hands or glasses are wider and when glassware matched the wine. 73 students who drank at least one glass of wine a week were recruited by the researchers. They were asked to pour normal servings of wine for themselves at different stations. The researchers manipulated environmental cues to measure the effects.

To test the effect of size and shape of glass, large, wide or standard glasses were used. Some stations had large or small place setting of glasses to see if the participants subconsciously drank more when they anticipated a meal. As the researchers suspected, several environmental cues lead to over pouring. When glasses were wider, participants poured 11.9 per cent more wine.

"If you ask someone how much they drink and they report it in a number of servings, for a self-pour that's just not telling the whole story. One person's two is totally different than another person's two," Walker said in the news release. "Participants in the study were asked to pour the same amount at each setting, but they just couldn't tell the difference."

"People have trouble assessing volumes," study co-author Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State, said in a Cornell news release. "They tend to focus more on the vertical than the horizontal measures. That's why people tend to drink less when they drink from a narrow glass, because they think they're drinking more."


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