In vino veritas (in wine is truth). And the truth about just how much vino you consume is influenced by the shape and color of your wine glass as well as whether you're holding that glass, according to a study reported September 30 by UPI.
To conduct the tipsy study, researchers from Iowa State and Cornell University evaluated students who consumed at least one glass of wine weekly. The students took part in various wine-pouring scenarios.
Each scenario involved instructing the students to serve themselves a "normal" serving of wine. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a normal serving is 5 ounces and typically about 12% alcohol. Three types of wine glasses were used, with different sizes and shapes involved.
Some students poured wine into glasses they were holding, while other scenarios involved having them pour wine into glasses on a table.
The results showed that environmental cues influenced whether students served more than "normal" amounts of wine. The study revealed:
- When the glasses were wider, the students poured 11.9% more wine.
- When students were holding the glasses, they poured 12.2% more wine.
- When the color of the glass and the color of the wine were similar, students poured 9.2% more.
Laura Smarandescu, co-author of the study from Iowa State, noted, "People have trouble assessing volumes. They tend to focus more on the vertical than the horizontal measures." In addition, she told Medical News Today on September 30, the research shows "that's why people tend to drink less when they drink from a narrow glass, because they think they're drinking more."
Lessons to learn from the study:
- If you want to cut down on your wine consumption, drink from a narrow glass.
- Place your glass on a table to pour it rather than holding it while you serve yourself.
- Choose contrasting colors, such as white wine in a red glass or red wine in a clear glass.
Co-author of the study, Douglas Walker, assistant professor at Iowa State, noted that the research also indicates that when you ask someone how much they've had to drink, you may not get the full story.
"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," said Professor Walker. So much for veritas.