Got enough time for a glass of wine?
“NEVER cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink. Though I guess that presupposes that there is a wine I wouldn’t drink.” Lev Grossman, The Magicians WHEN you’re young it’s hard to listen to advice that will only benefit you when you’re old.
A few days ago I read in the news that drinking an extra glass of wine a day will shorten your life expectancy by 30 minutes.
Now, don’t get me wrong — I hope to live a long, healthy and happy life, but I didn’t feel too alarmed when I read that headline.
What would I even do with that extra 30 minutes?
An extra game of bingo at the nursing home?
Not to mention I happen to really enjoy drinking wine, so giving up half an hour of my time to have an extra glass a day for the rest of my life seems like a pretty good deal.
But these alcohol studies aren’t telling us we will literally bite the dust a few minutes earlier if we keep up that dangerous wine habit.
Instead, what they are really saying is drinking even a little alcohol increases our chance of getting really sick, especially when we’re older. Even so, my latter years seem so far away that it’s hard to consider them when I’m deciding whether to have one more drop of red. I also find it easier to pay attention to those other studies that tell me drinking a little booze can actually be good for you. Someone should buy those scientists a beer. What does motivate me a bit better is if I think about the impact on my friends and family if I ended up in bad health, or worse. In the end, it’s pretty common sense that drinking too much — like too much of anything, really — can have unwelcome consequences. I guess the takeaway message is your nearest and dearest will thank you if you look after yourself.
Most of us are lucky not to suffer from serious, debilitating alcohol problems but many of us are putting our future health at risk.
We can’t assume we’ll be one of the lucky ones who seem to drink a fair bit and get away with it, like my grandfather who is going strong at 90 and still puts away whole bottles of shiraz at a time.
If you’re worried you could be drinking a bit too much, the best bet is to consult a professional such as your local GP.
You can also call the free National Alcohol and Other Drug hotline on 1800 250 015.