A group of researchers in the UK have determined that serving wine in larger glasses could cause people to drink more, according to Scientific American, and it all has to do with how people perceive the amount in the glass.
The BioMed Central Public Health study builds on the theory that larger plates can entice people to eat more food, with a hypothesis that the same could be true for larger wine glasses. The researchers had a restaurant in Cambridge, England change up the size of its glasses over eight two-week spans, and they observed the effect on people's ordering.
Switching from a standard 300-milliliter glass to 370 on the larger side and 250 on the smaller side, keeping the pours between 125 milliliters and 175 milliliters, the study found that serving wine in smaller glasses produced no measurable effect, while the larger glasses prompted guests to order more, causing a 10 percent increase in wine sales.
Further investigation into this effect will continue, but the researchers may one day make recommendations on the implementation of a standard-sized wine glass to reduce overconsumption. "Ensuring that all glasses were below a certain size could be one criterion amongst alcohol licensing requirements," according to the study.
Earlier this year, the UK's chief medical officer issued new guidelines for alcohol consumption, slamming the notion that moderate drinking can benefit heart health, and recommending both men and women drink a maximum six or seven beers or small glasses of wine a week.
Another recent report from researchers at the University of Victoria in British Columbia poked holes in certain studies of moderate drinking, revealing significant issues when it came to separating groups of lifelong non-drinkers and occasional and former drinkers.