Part and parcel with the idea that eating and drinking more correlates with the size of plates and “big gulp” cups (copyright 7-Eleven) and that obesity might be controlled to some extent by using smaller portions, is this study in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal about how wine consumption seems to be increasing in tandem with bigger wine glasses. (1)
They examined the change in size of wine glasses over the last 300 years by examining catalogs, glass manufacturers, the glass collections of Royalty, eBay offerings and other sources. Wine glasses have increased 7 fold in volume over this period with a steeper rise just since the 1990’s, from a little over 2 ounces to 15 ounces – at least in England and the US. Wine sales and consumption have increased in parallel.
So why is this? Wine has gotten cheaper and more available and more democratic. It’s not just how sophisticated people get wasted anymore.
Wine is also getting stronger alcoholically. The rule of thumb used to be that a mug of beer and a glass of wine and a shot of whiskey had the same amount of alcohol. Maybe that’s not true anymore. I haven’t done the math. The bible and the ritual of the Catholic Mass tells us that in the really olden days wine was diluted with water instead of drinking it straight. The subtitle of this article, “a measures of our time,” seems to say that modern life is just one big bacchanal. Maybe some day we’ll progress to drinking distilled liquor straight instead of in mixed drinks. Mmmmmm.
John DiTraglia M.D. is a Pediatrician in Portsmouth. He can be reached by e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org or phone-354-6605.