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Damn you, big glasses!

Another story for the “don’t hate the playa; hate the game” files here at Wine Scamp International: 

Professor Steve Allsop, whose National Drug Research Institute study concludes that larger wine glasses mislead wine drinkers, says this causes consumers to drink more than they intend to, as reported in an article in Australia’s Herald Sun.

Australia’s Department of Health defines a standard glass of wine as 150 ml, about 5 ounces.  Maximum recommended alcoholic intake for a woman is 2 glasses of wine; for a man, it’s 4.  The study showed that when people poured what they considered an average serving of wine, they ended up with 6 to 10 ounces in the glass.   Thus the Australian public over-serves itself with blithe ignorance, especially women.  I can only assume it’s especially women because we’re not supposed to drink as much as men.  Certainly it couldn’t be because we’re out of control and need male scientists and politicians to teach us how to modulate our behavior.  Great, glad we cleared that up.

Australia’s federal government is jumping into action to address this problem of heavy pouring by including a standard drink logo on bottles of wine to tell people how many servings are in the container.  That works really well with Americans and snack food, as anyone who counts out one 10-cracker serving of Wheat Thins for their afternoon snack knows.  So it’s good to see we’re setting a good example for the world with our abstemious approach to food portions.

I agree that it’s easy to pour a little heavy at home, especially into a glass big enough to swirl your wine in, but can we just cool it with the puritanical hullaballoo?   If we can trust women enough to assign them the job of feeding our children and patriarchs, surely we can trust them to pour the perfect portion of wine for every occasion.  Can’t we?

industry news world of wine

Big servings of wine cause alcohol abuse, says MP

According to an article in the Guardian Unlimited, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Greg Mulholland wants to force pubs in England to sell smaller servings of wine.

Evidently, some pub chains in England used to offer three different sized pours: small (125 ml/4 oz), medium (175 ml/6 oz), and large (250 ml/8 oz). Mulholland himself used to work for a pub chain which did away with the 4 oz. pours, saying “bigger glasses equal higher prices and more profits.” So now most pubs only sell 6 and 8 oz. servings, forcing people to drink more wine than they normally would, to Mulholland’s mind.

Am I a moron, or do the Brits just do it differently than we do? Back when I was helping restaurants set their prices, you wanted as small a pour as you could get away with, so you could sell more glasses from a bottle. A 750 ml bottle will serve five 5 oz. pours or four 6 oz. pours. If an 8 oz. pour is the norm in England, then those pubs are only selling 3 glasses per bottle. Either their glass prices are ridiculously high, or they’re doing it wrong.

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Book review: The Wine Roads of Texas

Wine Cowboy HatI am not a Texas native. My husband is a 5th-generation Texan, and loves his state as only a Texan can. When we drive through the countryside, he’ll comment on how a certain famous battle happened in this town, or how that area was colonized by the Old Three Hundred. You have to drive a lot in Texas; I think it’s in the state constitution somewhere.

If you don’t live here, you probably haven’t tasted a Texas wine. I know I hadn’t, until I moved to Austin. And there’s a good deal of wine to taste, really: Texas is fifth in U.S. wine production, after California, Washington, New York and Oregon. All in all, Texas makes about 1.5 million gallons of wine every year, and about 95% of it is consumed in Texas. Are we bad sharers? Well, it’s not like you’ve been asking for any.

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Well, someone at should be fired by now.  Alder at Vinography broke the story (which was originally published in the Wine Market Report – 8k download here) to the blogosphere a couple of days ago.  Get this: organized a sting operation in Washington state, in which – or stooges thereof – ordered wines from 29 different online wine retailers that could not legally ship to Washington, and then they turned the names of the law-breaking retailers in to state authorities.

Ironically enough, Washington prosecutors have no jurisdiction over out-of-state retailers who ship to Washington despite stupid protectionist wine laws that prohibit such activity.  The only people who could be in legal trouble from Washington state authorities would be people who actually ordered the wine, breaking the law while actually in Washington state!  Wut?

No company with this much of a rat-like approach to business, coupled with a severe lack of cognitive processing ability, should be allowed to have a link on this site.  Wine Scamp is no place for snitches, nor for tattle-tales.  So I’ve taken their ad off the site, and I hope you’ll join me in a boycott of for here on out.  Mostly for being morons, and then also for being wine law vigilantes.  Oops, I repeated myself.

I must join Tom Wark in directing your attention to the supreme response to’s perfidy, that of Emily and Stephan at — it’s both brilliant and hilarious — located near the end of the comments to the post on Vinography.

world of wine

not to be drinking so much, thank you

Contrary to what it may seem, I don’t drink much. Honestly, I am a serious lightweight; the champagne over-indulgence story from a few days ago is a relic of a different age; these days, I’m flushed and giggly after my second glass of table wine. One martini, floor — that’s me.

But the wine, I love it! And variety, I am loving it more (almost)! What for to do with the need for many wines and the lack of drinkage that I practice?

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Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Children?

Interesting article over at the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday about kids and winery tasting rooms, i.e. whether it’s appropriate to bring your kids to wineries you visit. Dr. Vino ran a delightful series of posts on this subject, starting with a poll about whether kids should be allowed at wineries (218-80 in favor of tots tagging along with their parents in the Fields of the Grapes), with a lively discussion to boot. He then did an adorable photo contest of children at wineries, the winner to be found here in all his Cuteness. This kid will be a heart-breaker!

I voted in favor of wineries being a family friendly, not because I love having whiny kids running around the place while I’m trying to taste through a flight at a crowded counter, but because I believe that if America is ever to overcome its Puritan roots, we must Think Of The Children!