Guidelines for Purchasing Your Wine Glasses

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What is a "Standard" Drink?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a "standard" drink includes the following. (1)

  • 12 ounces of "regular" beer with 5% alcohol content.

  • 5 ounces of table wine with 12% alcohol content.

  • 1-1/2 ounces of 80-proof spirits with 40% alcohol content.

Standardized Containers For Alcoholic Beverages

When Joe Doakes (a fictitious name) goes home or ventures into his favorite bar and has three bottles of beer, chances are that he had three "12-ounce" bottles of beer.

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In a similar manner, when Joe has two shots of whiskey at his favorite bar, he is usually getting two 1-1/2 ounce shots of whiskey.

When Sandy Doakes (also a fictitious name) goes home and has two glasses of her favorite wine, however, she rarely pours exactly 5 ounces of wine whenever she decides to have some wine.

Indeed, while at times she may pour 6 ounces of wine in her glass, at other times, she may pour 5-1/2 ounces of wine, and still at other times, she may pour 4-3/4 ounces of wine in her glass.

The point. While "regular" bottles of beer contain 12 fluid ounces and shots at a bar contain 1-1/2 fluid ounces, wine glasses are not "standardized" to a specific size.

As a result when Sandy Doakes pours two glasses of wine at home, it is highly unlikely that she has poured exactly the same about of wine in her glass both times.

Fortunately, if a person is a wine drinker and is concerned with how much alcohol he is consuming, there are some guidelines for this that have been established by the research community.

Wine Glass Research

The following represents some of the key findings that were discovered by researchers from Cornell University and from Iowa State University.

  • People drank roughly 12% less wine when they used narrow rather than wide wine glasses.

  • People drank approximately 12% less wine when they poured the wine while the glass was on a surface such as a table rather than pouring the wine while holding the glass in their hand.

  • People poured roughly 9% less red wine into a "clear" wine glass than white wine due to the contrasting color of the wine versus the color of the wine glass.

Commentary

As with many things in life, there's a common sense "answer" when a person wants to know exactly how much wine he has poured into a wine glass.

Indeed, instead of thinking about the size, shape, and the color of the wine glasses an individual purchases, wouldn't it make a lot of sense for wine glass manufacturers to include a 5-ounce "line" on all wine glasses so that people would know exactly how much wine they should pour?

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This may not seem like an earth-shattering issue, but it could be very important to people who are concerned with always drinking in moderation so they can avoid engaging in alcohol abuse or alcoholism.

Reference

1. NIAAA

To view the original source for this article, see size and shape of wine glasses affects how much wine a person drinks.

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