Is yours a small, medium or large? We're talking wine here people, and the answer in 2017 is most likely to be extra large because our wine glasses are getting bigger – a lot bigger.
According to research published in the British Medical Journal, over the past 300 years the size of wine glasses in England has increased dramatically. In fact, they are more than six times larger than those our ancestors used.
The study, which is the first of its kind, took the measurements of 411 glasses from five sources (including retailers eBay and John Lewis) and found that they have grown from a measly 70ml in 1700 to a very generous 450ml in 2017. That's a sevenfold increase in capacity.
These stats are particularly relevant to women. Among female 'binge drinkers' (that’s those of us who exceed six units on our heaviest drinking day – which equates to three pints of normal-strength beer or two large glasses of wine), the most popular choice of tipple is wine, with three in four women choosing it over beer, the most popular choice for men.
The brains behind the study, Professor Theresa Marteau and her colleagues investigated why our wine glasses have ballooned in size – and it doesn’t just come down to greed.
Increases over time are due to price, technology, societal wealth, and wine appreciation. Two particular changes during the 20th century probably helped to increase glass sizes further.
Firstly, wine glasses started to be tailored in shape and size for different wine varieties (hence those gigantic red wine glasses we all love so much). Then the people running bars and restaurants, as well as their customers, had an effect too. Wine sales increased when sold in larger glasses, incentivising pubs and clubs to use them more.
Larger wine glasses can also increase the pleasure from drinking wine, which may in turn increase the desire to drink more, but you didn’t need the BMJ to tell you that, did you?
Something else to bear in mind when you are getting a round in over the coming weeks: The strength of wine sold in the United Kingdom since the 1990s has increased too, so the amount of pure alcohol that wine drinkers consume has likely risen in line with larger glasses.
If all of this has you worried about your drinking over Christmas and New Year then there are lots of ways to help rein it in.
There’s a ton of useful info and help from Drink Aware, and Drink Coach has an easy-to-use (free) app which you can download here.
And don’t forget your friend water, also free.