London, Dec 14 (IANS) Scientists have found that the capacity of wine glasses has ballooned nearly seven-fold over the past 300 years, rising most sharply in the last two decades in line with a surge in wine consumption, a study has revealed.
Wine glasses have swelled in size from an average capacity of 66ml in the early 1700s to 449ml today, the scientists from the University of Cambridge said in the study.
A typical wine glass 300 years ago would have held only about a half of today’s smallest “official” measure of 125ml, the Guardian reported on Thursday.
In the first of its kind analysis, the university’s behaviour and health research unit surveyed antique experts and examined 18th-century glasses held at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, glassware used at Buckingham Palace, and the latest glasses in John Lewis department store catalogues.
The evidence was clear: the newer glasses were bigger.
The study measured wine glass capacity from 1700 to the present day to help understand whether any changes in their size might have contributed to the rise in wine consumption.
“Wine will no doubt be a feature of some merry Christmas nights, but when it comes to how much we drink, wine glass size probably does matter,” said professor Theresa Marteau, director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the research.
For the new study, the researchers obtained measurements of 411 glasses from 1700 to the modern day, the Guardian reported.
They found wine glass capacity increased from 66ml in the 1700s to 417ml in the 2000s, with the mean wine glass size in 2016-17 even higher at 449ml.
Wine sold in the UK has also increased since the 1990s, according to the study.