Are Larger Wine Glasses to Blame for Increased Consumption? In Part, Says Science

 Olivia Pope's notoriously large wine glasses are a sign of the times, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal.

Olivia Pope's notoriously large wine glasses are a sign of the times, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal.

Wine glasses are bigger than ever — in fact, they've grown seven-fold since glasses emerged as the preferred vessel for drinking wine over 300 years ago, according to a new study from the British Medical Journal.

Could this help explain the dramatic increase in wine consumption noted in recent decades? Yes, posit the researchers. "Along with lower prices, increased availability, and marketing, larger wine glasses may have contributed to this rise through several potentially co-occurring mechanisms." 

They explain:

A larger cup or glass increases the amount of beverage poured and, in turn, the amount drunk. This may reflect 'the unit bias heuristic,' in which people consume in units (for example: one cup of coffee, one slice of cake, or one glass of wine) provided the portion is above a certain minimum amount. Given that people may perceive the same portion as less than 'one unit' when presented in a relatively empty large glass than when presented in a fuller but smaller glass, consumption may be further influenced by reducing glass size.

Read the full study from the British Medical Journal here.

 

Amanda Harrington