Credit: Jeremy & Claire Weiss/Day 19

The key to drinking less wine might be as simple as having a rule about how you pour it. True, neither drinking less nor rules sound like particularly fun ideas, but those looking to avoid nasty wine hangovers may want to take heed.

A study conducted by Iowa State and Cornell universities found that people who stuck to a general rule for pouring wine tended to pour less, regardless of exactly what the rule was. Some aimed to fill the glass halfway, some to a certain finger measurement, but the result for all of them was less wine in the glass than those who didn’t put any thought into their pour. Though the study didn’t look at consumption specifically, links between serving size and consumption have been seen in other studies.

What’s the takeaway? Well, certainly only the wildest of lushes are filling red wine glasses to the rim, but simply free pouring without any real amount in mind also tends to lead to a larger serving. To imbibe in moderation, aim for something such as only filling the glass halfway or stopping at two fingers from the top. The study discovered that just the act of having any sort of pouring rule in mind left glasses 20 percent less full.

Granted, drinking less wine does not directly equate to not drinking so much wine that you get a hangover. However, it’s good to remember that the first step toward drinking in moderation is—ta-dah—actually thinking about how you’re drinking. Novel idea, right?