Magazine of Northwest Arkansas

Wine Glasses Through History
We drink a lot more wine, these days. That is, in part, due to increased accessibility. In Northwest Arkansas, that is plainly evident: A few, short years ago, if one wanted to procure a bottle - even a bottle of wine or a twelve-pack of beer - one was relegated to the liquor store or a restaurant/bar that served liquor by the drink. Benton County had no carry-out alcohol sales, at all. Finally, if you were looking to wet your whistle on a Sunday, you were on your way to Missouri! Another reason that wine consumption is up is affordability. It is now quite possible to find a decent wine in the $15 to $25 range.

But, there is likely another contributing factor: Wine glass capacity. Wine glasses hit the scene about 1700, shortly after George Ravenscroft developed lead crystal. This technology made less-fragile stemware possible. All the same time, the average wine glass capacity in 1700 was 2.2 fluid ounces; Now, it is a gargantuan 15 fluid ounces!
A peek at wine consumption in the U.S. is quite clear. The Wine Institute shows that per capita wine consumption in the United States rose from 2.01 gallons in 2000 to 2.94 gallons in 2016. That is a big difference in a relatively short amount of time. See the chart HERE.

I ran across a Bon Appetit article in my inbox the other day that may have solved the wine glass of choice for 2019 issue, nicely. It is still big by historical standards, coming in at 12 3/8 ounces but you can't expect us to retreat to 2.2 ounces all at once. The piece is by Amiel Stanek. Read it HERE.
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