Wine glasses have slowly been increasing to size - as has our consumption of the alcohol

Wine glasses
Wine glasses are seven times bigger than they were back in the Georgian era [Photo: Getty]

If you thought our Victorian ancestors enjoyed a glass of festive bubbly or two then you’ll be surprised to learn that we’ve become an even greater generation of drinkers.

According to a study conducted by the University of Cambridge, the average wine glass has grown seven times larger than it was back in the 1800s.

It turns out, wine glasses have increased in size in correlation with the nation’s drinking habits, as the volume of alcohol England consumes increased between 1960 and 1980 then doubled again between 1980 and 2004.

Back in the early 1700s, the average glass could hold 66ml of wine whereas in the current age, we’re knocking back 449ml in one sitting.

The average size of a wine glass has grown from 66ml to 449 ml [Photo: PA]
The average size of a wine glass has grown from 66ml to 449 ml [Photo: PA]

The study published in the BMJ is the first of its kind and researchers looked to antique experts for advice, examined glassware at Buckingham Palace and analysed more recent glasses in John Lewis catalogues.

And The Wine and Spirits Trade Association believes sociological trends may be behind the ballooning sizes of wine glasses.

“The size of a wine glass reflects the trend and fashions of the time and is often larger for practical reasons,” the WSTA chief executive Miles Beale told The Guardian. “Red wine, for example, is served in a larger glass to allow it to breathe, something which perhaps wasn’t a priority 300 years ago.”

But there is no denying the notion that it is having a detrimental effect on our health, as the study highlights that alcohol is the fifth largest culprit for premature mortality and disability in high income countries.

The strength of wine sold in the UK has also significantly increased since the 1990s.

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