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Shape of wine glass determines how much we pour, study finds

A new study, published in the journal Substance Use and Misuse, found that many people overpour wine based on certain biases like the shape of the glass and color of the wine — or whether they hold the glass when pouring. This may lead people to under count how many drinks they’ve had and could pose a problem when making safe driving decisions, say the study researchers. It might also lead to a greater consumption of calories. A 5-ounce serving of wine typically contains 125 calories, but study volunteers poured up to 12 percent more wine than that — equivalent to an extra 15 calories per glass — when pouring wine while holding the glass instead of setting it on the table. (It’s hard to eyeball the correct amount when looking down into the cup as you pour.)

Other factors that led people to overpour wine:

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■ pouring white wine into a clear glass (better if the wine and glass are contrasting colors)

■ using a shallow wide glass instead of a long narrow one

■ using a large wine glass instead of a smaller one

“If you want to pour and drink less wine, stick to the narrow wine glasses and only pour if your glass is on the table or counter,” said Cornell University study coauthor Brian Wansink. D.K.

Deborah Kotz can be reached at dkotz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.
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