By Lexi Williams originally posted January 10th 2018
A few months ago we invited a Riedel rep to teach our wine storage team about the significance of drinking out of the right stemware for varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Besides being blown away by the seminar, we also noticed the tremendous size of the red wine glasses. I guess we were right to comment! – Mana Wine
Nearly every study over the past three decades that has found health benefits in wine consumption has added a crucial caveat: Drink in moderation. Most health experts define moderation as roughly two glasses per day for a man and one for a woman.
But how big is your glass?
A new study published in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) found that the average wineglass capacity in England has been steadily growing over the past 300 years. Researchers from the University of Cambridge collected data from five sources—the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University, the Royal Household of the United Kingdom (where a new set of glassware is commissioned for each monarch), English glassware company Dartington Crystal, John Lewis department store and eBay—to record the capacities of more than 400 wineglasses that were available or sold in England between 1700 and 2017.
According to the study, wineglass capacity increased from an average of 66 milliliters (roughly 2.2 ounces) in the 1700s to 230 milliliters (7.8 ounces) in the early 1990s. In the past 25 years, the growth has been even more dramatic: There was an almost doubling in size, with averages skyrocketing to 450 milliliters (15.2 ounces, or more than a half-bottle of wine) in 2017.
What does this have to do with your health? When scientific studies discuss a glass of wine, they typically define that as 5 ounces. That’s also the FDA’s definition of one serving. According to the study’s authors, growing glasses might be related to higher wine consumption rates over the years.