Tom's blog

Is it me or is the glass getting bigger?

I have very nice antique, crystal wine glasses in the cupboard that I never use. They are beautiful to display, but the size of the bowl is impractical. I'd be constantly refilling glasses if I put them on a table. I often muse that my ancestors must have sipped wine very slowly or spent their time refilling their glasses.

 Now I find that a study in England confirms that wine glasses have grown. They've doubled in size since 1990, but the Brits say the growth is more significant if you go back 300 years. They are seven times larger than those used by our ancestors three centuries ago.

I'm sure Georg Riedel would argue that today's glasses are designed to give wine more exposure to air and thus extract more aromas and flavors. All of this is true, but the unintended consequence may be greater consumption.  When the doctor asks you how much wine you drink, you say "oh, just a couple of glasses." But a small glass half filled is probably 3 ounces; one of the more popular goblet can half 8 ounces if it's half filled.

Coincidentally, wine consumption has risen dramatically over the years. Whether that's because the bigger glasses encourages more drinking is unproven.