Wine Glasses Are Shrinking

According to a major UK retailer, wine glasses are getting smaller.

It was well documented that, during lockdown, Brits drank even more than usual. Now, says retailer John Lewis, there has been a surge in demand for smaller wine glasses. It's not yet clear whether this is occuring because people think that having a smaller glass will make them drink less or whether it's an effort to take more exercise because, every time you drain your diminuitive glass, you have to get up and go to the fridge for a top up.

Let's not forget that John Lewis was the first retailer to report a run on ironing boards in 2020, and it was only much later that it was discovered that young people were using them as a desk. Anyone who has read Freakonomics will know that data can be incorrectly interpreted in numerous ways.

Readers of a certain age will recall that for years, wine glasses got larger and larger; the hospitality protocol was to fill them to the widest point of the glass, which was about a third of the way up, typically 250ml. The home drinker might fill them halfway, which was more like half a bottle. Which meant you could drink a whole bottle of wine in two servings and get away with telling yourself (and your friends) that you rarely drink more than a couple of glasses of wine of an evening.

So, is the supposed shift to smaller glasses a portend in a shift to drinking less? Of course, it won’t, on its own, make you drink any less; the deterrent of more trips to the fridge is no match for a powerful thirst. But if it signals an intention to drink less, that foundation alone might change habits.