Massachusetts Beverage Business



IS THE CHOICE of glass turning those who prefer white wine into heavier drinkers? Possibly. According to new research, the color of wine as well as the shape and size of the glass affects how much we drink, with white wine drinkers unintentionally pouring more. Participants in a study by researchers at Iowa State University were asked to pour what they considered a normal drink using different types of glasses in various settings. When pouring white wine into a clear glass they were found to pour 9% more than when pouring red, which had a greater color contrast to the glass. They also poured around 12% more wine into a wide glass than a standard one.

The influence of wine color and glass type could have serious consequences for drinkers’ health, the researchers warned. Dr. Doug Walker, lead author of the study, said: “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. Participants in the study were asked to pour the same amount at each setting, but they just couldn’t tell the difference.” The findings, published in the journal SUBSTANCE USE & MISUSE, were said to demonstrate the need to educate people about how to measure a proper serving size of alcohol. The design of a wine glass and the way it is held can also determine how much alcohol drinkers consume. The size and shape of a glass can cause drinkers unintentionally to pour larger amounts than they intended to. When the receptacle is wider than a traditional glass, or is being held rather than placed on a table, or matches the color of the wine, drinkers are inclined to consume more, researchers found.

To examine the visual effects of color contrast, there was either low contrast (white wine in a clear glass) or high contrast (red wine in a clear glass). When glasses were wider, participants poured 11.9% more. Respondents poured 12.2% more wine when they were holding their glasses, compared with into glasses that were placed on a table. When there was low contrast between the glass and the drink, participants poured 9.2% more than when there was high contrast.

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