Xmas alcohol shock: Bigger wine glasses to blame for more BOOZING

A larger glass increases the amount of beverage poured and in turn the amount drunk: Researchers believe that growing glass sizes could be leading to increased drinking

Cambridge University researchers assessed glasses dating back hundreds of years, and found they now hold measures more than seven times larger than the meagre tipples enjoyed in the past.

Wine glasses just keep getting bigger.

Acclaimed worldwide wine judge and connoisseur Michael Fridjhon said: "Increased consumption figures are the result of more people discovering the joy of wine‚ mainly at the expense of hard tack".

The founder of Wine Wizard‚ Fridjhon said: "While bigger glasses don't always guarantee a better experience‚ the success of brands like (Austrain glassware maker) Riedel shows that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the relationship between glass shape and enhanced drinking pleasure".

The authors say they can not infer that the increase in glass size is a direct cause of the rise in wine consumption in England, nor that reducing wine glass size would cut drinking.

They looked at wine glass sizes over the centuries, including a peek at the British royal household's crystal service, and found a steady increase.

For the new research, published in the British Medical Journal, the team obtained the measurements of 411 glasses from 1700 to modern day.

Increasing sizes Since the 1700s glass sizes have increased more than six times. They previously held almost the same amount as a double shot of spirits today
Xmas alcohol shock: Bigger wine glasses to blame for more BOOZING

"We sought to measure the capacity of glasses used for unfortified wine (excluding sparkling wines) with a stem and foot that have been available or sold in England from 1700 to 2017", they wrote, adding that they contacted museums, retailers and other sources.

Wine consumption increased nearly four-fold between 1960 and 1980, and nearly doubled again between 1980 and 2004, researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom said.

However, the authors say, their research does suggest that glass size is an area that requires more research in the context of excessive drinking and population health - and, if there does prove to be a link, regulating glass sizes could prove beneficial. Wine has also become stronger and glass sizes larger: I don't think many of us realise that a 250ml glass of 14% wine contains over 3 units of alcohol, which is more than a pint of strong beer.

Researchers reckon that while cheaper prices, wider availability, and increased marketing likely play a role, the changes in wine glasses are significant too. For example, demand for larger wine glasses by the U.S. market was met by an increase in the size of glasses manufactured in England, and size was influenced by those running bars and restaurants, who sought to increase sales of wine.

From 1990 onwards, demand for larger wine glasses by the United States market was met by an increase in the size of glasses manufactured in England, where a ready market was also found.

To conclude, researchers pointed to several policy options for reducing drinking outside the home as well as influencing the size of glasses people use at home - where most alcohol, including wine, is drunk. Another could be glass size.

"We predict - with moderate confidence - that, while there will be some resistance to these suggestions, their palatability will be greater in the month of January than that of December".

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