Wine Mis-estimation, by the Glass

wine-glassWine inspires many unexpected things, including this study:

Half Full or Empty: Cues That Lead Wine Drinkers to Unintentionally Overpour.” Doug Walker, Laura Smarandescu, and Brian Wansink, Substance Use and Misuse, epub September 12, 2013. (Thanks to Margo Seltzer for bringing this to our attention.)

Co-author Brian Wansink was awarded the 2007 Ig Nobel Prize for nutrition, for  exploring the seemingly boundless appetites of human beings, by feeding them with a self-refilling, bottomless bowl of soup. [REFERENCE: “Bottomless Bowls: Why Visual Cues of Portion Size May Influence Intake,” Brian Wansink, James E. Painter and Jill North, Obesity Research, vol. 13, no. 1, January 2005, pp. 93-100.] In the new study, the authors, at Iowa State University and Cornell University, report:

“Wine drinkers often pour their own wine, but is the amount they pour influenced by the shape of the glass, the color of the wine, or how they pour? Building on research involving visual illusions and haptic cues, an exploratory field study shows that while wine drinkers typically poured 3.95 fl. oz. of wine into a standard baseline (10 fl. oz.) glass, they poured 11.9% more into a wider glass, 9.2% more when the wine was white (the low contrast with the glass makes it difficult to see), and 12.2% more when the wine glass was held in their hand rather than sitting on the table. Using narrower wine glasses and not pouring while holding one’s glass may be steps toward modestly reducing the amount of wine a social drinker pours and drinks.”

National Monitor reports on this report, under the headline “Researchers discover secrets behind unintentional overpouring of wine“.