We should all stop waving around our girthy goblets of pinot grigio if we want to drink less, says Science, who continues to be zero fun on Monday nights. A new study published in Substance Use and Misuse indicates that the quantity of wine poured and consumed depends on the glass's shape and, oddly, if the lucky recipient is holding it. The findings? Basically, the best possible glass for limiting drinking (besides a thimble) is tall and narrow. According to the study's co-author Laura Smarandescu, the glass's narrow circumference is outweighed visually by its height, which leads people to believe they're pouring and drinking more. Champagne flute stock just went up.
In the new #whitepeopleproblems study, 73 subjects, all of whom drank at least one glass of wine once a week, poured a 'normal' glass of wine. The findings? Wide glasses received 12 percent more love than narrow ones, and subjects poured 12 percent more wine again if they were holding the glass. The subjects also poured nine percent more white wine in a glass than red. It's lighter, right?
"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," study co-author Douglas Walker said in the study's press release. "One person's two is totally different than another person's two."
It's sort of like plate size and portions: Researchers have already found that diners' conception and consumption of portions were correlated with the diameter of their plate. More plate, more food.
The wine study mirrors a recent August study involving beer and glass shape. That study found that people tend to drink more slowly out of a straight-edged pint glass, as opposed to a curvier beer goblets that, incidentally, resemble wine glasses.
While some might see this as scientific justification for serving vino from pint glasses — the better to slowly consume with, my dear — the wine study's co-authors are using their findings as a call for education about standard serving sizes (five ounces for wine, BTW) and alcohol units. That is the responsible thing to do.
As the Digital Journal hyperboled: "In a domestic setting, one person’s ‘glass’ can sometimes be another’s Bacchanalian excess." I think they mean a normal night in watching The Daily Show.
But there are occasions, such as the fourth evening of a visit back to your hometown, when a little more wine may be called for. Should you happen to "mix up" your narrower white wine glasses for the basin-like red ones, we sure as hell won't fault you. Good luck with Uncle Jimmy's career advice.