How to spill less of your online wine purchases

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Online wine shops go to great lengths to make sure every bottle arrives intact, with careful couriers and protective packaging to avoid any smashes and spillage.

So how can you make sure you don't spill your online wine purchases once you've poured yourself a glass? It's a question that arguably becomes even more important later in the night.

It's also been the subject of focus for Jiwon Han at the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, whose research has been published in Achievements in the Life Sciences.

The study looked at how easily fluids can be spilled from a cylindrical mug and from a wine glass when subjected to low-frequency side-to-side motion, similar to that created by walking with a glass in your hand.

According to the researcher, a problem arises because we tend to walk quite rhythmically, and this allows the waves in the liquid to build up until it overflows its container.

Interestingly, this happens at different frequencies - around 2 Hz for a wine glass, but 4 Hz for a mug - so you could theoretically reduce your spillage by walking a little faster.

Another suggestion is to walk backwards, as this is a less natural movement, and most people therefore do not walk as rhythmically when going backwards.

The downside is that you can't see where you're going, making you more likely to trip over something, or bump into something - or someone, such as another backward-walking wine drinker.

However, there is one simple suggestion that may prove practical in protecting your online wine purchases, and that is to hold the glass from above, with your fingertips around the rim, claw-like.

This position, similar to a fairground 'grab machine', doesn't transfer the same rhythmic motion into the glass, so it's less likely to create waves in the wine inside, making you more likely to get back to your seat without a mishap.