Why a Government Shutdown May Be a Blessing For Wine Lovers



Has anyone noticed the interesting and kinda weird assumptions that have been built-in the recent reports on a study that shows wine drinkers tend not to know how much wine they are putting into a glass? Here’s what this study found:

“The study, published in Substance Use and Misuse, found that participants poured 12 percent more wine into a wide glass than a narrow glass. They also poured 12 percent more wine into a glass they were holding, versus one placed on a table. Color contrast affected pours, too. Participants over-poured white wine into a clear glass by 10 percent. There was less over-pouring when the wine was red. Even after participants were informed of their habits, they still over-poured.”

But…by what measure are wine drinkers “over pouring”. That’s a judgement, isn’t it. The fact that it’s hard to measure exactly 5 oz. when pouring wine into various different vessels shouldn’t be a surprise. But should we really care?Look at this headline referencing the study: “Wine Drinkers Often Pour Too Much”. Why is what is poured into a glass “too much”.

The idea of “too much” is based on the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s judgement that a “standard serving size” of wine is 5 oz. That’s kind of arbitrary, isn’t it. Why not 5.5 oz.? Why not 6 oz.? Why not 10 oz.? Why not 1 oz.?

The New York Daily News reported about this research this way:

“Understanding environmental cues like the size and shape of a wine glass and the way it’s poured can help wine lovers drink in moderation and avoid over-consumption, say researchers in a new study.”

What’s clearly needed, in light of this study, is a government-funded program to educate wine drinkers how to pour exactly 5 oz of wine. Then, another government-funded program that teaches wine drinkers to multiply so that they can add up the various 5 oz. glasses of wine they consume and know how many government approved 5 oz “glasses” of wine they have consumed. We probably also need some sort of law that prohibits more than 5 oz. of wine exiting a wine bottle during any single tipping of the bottle. And finally, there surely needs to be some sort of law that punishes the tampering with any mechanism that prevents more than 5 oz. of wine exiting a bottle of wine during any single tipping of the bottle. 

This is clearly a job for the Federal Government…..Wait…we don’t have a working federal government at the moment. Hmmm….Maybe the shut down of the Federal government is a good idea after all.

5 Responses

  1. Sunshine - October 1, 2013

    I posted a comment on facebook recently about that article. What I find interesting is that what is described as a “standard serving size” of wine is larger now than it was 20 years ago (was 4 oz, now 5oz). Additionally, alcohol percentages are much higher than 20 years ago as well. Who is defining “standard” anyway? All the restaurants I frequent have 6 oz pours. Are they pouring “too much?” I’ll bet if you asked their customers, they would say not.

    I shoot for 4 oz, and then drink as much wine as I darn well please. I would like lower alcohol, though, so I can enjoy more wine without getting as tipsy.

    Your point that the article uses terms like “too much” and “over pour” is astute. It should read, “more than anticipated” or “more than intended.”

    I’ll continue to pour into the glass that is handed to me.

  2. Jack - October 3, 2013

    Actually, I always assumed this but it is nice to have the data. I teach a wine class to 21 year old consumers and I am ferociously aware of the amount of wine I want poured but don’t want to use one of those bottle top proportioners. This is why I stick with the 7 3/4 oz INAO type tasting glass, I have no doubt that the amount poured if I used a standard glass would be more like a 20% increase instead of 12.

  3. Penny - October 3, 2013

    Then you have someone like my 88 year old mother-in-law whose DR told her she should only have 2 glasses of wine a day – so she bought some 6 oz glasses and fills them to the rim!

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