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Drank Too Much Wine? Blame it on the Shape of the Wine Glass

Update Date: Sep 30, 2013 12:09 PM EDT
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When it comes to drinking wine, the shape of the wine glass matters according to a new study. This study, conducted by researchers from Iowa State and Cornell Universities, examined how much wine people poured depending on the wine type and the glass design. The researchers believe that these factors could be playing huge roles in explaining why people might be overdrinking and experiencing hangovers the morning after.

For this study, the researchers observed how much wine participants poured into different types of wine glasses under multiple settings. The researchers found that people tended to pour 12 percent more wine in wine glasses that were wider than the standard size. People also poured around 12 percent more wine when they held the glass as opposed to sitting it on the table. On top of that, the researchers found that the type of wine mattered. When it came to pouring white wine into a clear glass, the participants poured nearly nine percent more than they did in comparison to red wine. The team found that when it came to table size, a small or large table setting did not really impact how much wine people poured out.

"People have trouble assessing volumes. They tend to focus more on the vertical than the horizontal measures," said Laura Smarandescu, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa state, according to the university's press release. "That's why people tend to drink less when they drink from a narrow glass, because they think they're drinking more."

The researchers believe that since wine is not always poured in the same glass, people could easily drink too much wine. The standard serving is five ounces based on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's measurement. Since most people might not know what five ounces look like in different glasses, it becomes very easy to lose track of one's alcohol consumption.

"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," the lead author, Doug Walker, an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State explained. "Participants in the study were asked to pour the same amount at eat setting, but they couldn't tell the difference."

The researchers believe that their findings could help wine lovers learn how to control their own consumption. The team recommended that people stick to narrow wine glasses and place the glass on the table while pouring. This study was published in Substance Use and Misuse.  

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