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Discovery

299 EpisodesProduced by BBC World ServiceWebsite

Explorations in the world of science.

27:29

Wine glass

Have you got one of those wine glasses that can hold an entire bottle of wine? Katy Brand does and she’s even used it for wine - albeit because of a sprained ankle, which would have stopped her from hobbling back and forth to the kitchen for refills.

But if we skip back a few hundred years, the wine glass was tiny. Footmen brought their masters what was essentially a shot glass. They quaffed back their wine in one. So how did we go from those dinky little things to the gargantuan goblets we have today? Is it because letting the wine breathe in a bigger glass makes it smell and taste better? Or is it a reflection of our drinking habits?

Join Katy and the show's resident public historian, Greg Jenner, is glass expert Russell Hand from Sheffield University and Barry Smith, Director for the Study of the Senses at London University.

Producer: Graihagh Jackson

Picture: Wine glass, Credit: Albina Kosenko/Getty Images

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