Mas­ter of Wine Emma Jenk­ins shares her guide­lines for en­joy­ing your favourite tip­ple as part of a healthy life­style.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - Contents -

Wine as a part of a healthy life­style? Yes, of course! Mind you, I am a woman who has a cou­ple of dozen wines a week de­liv­ered to my door – for a good cause I hope read­ers will agree. But what might sur­prise you is how lit­tle of that wine I ac­tu­ally drink...

Women gen­er­ally, how­ever, are drink­ing more than ever and while most do so sen­si­bly, health of­fi­cials are in­creas­ingly alarmed by the rise in al­co­hol-re­lated prob­lems in women (now on a par with men, who used to be around three times higher). So how do we stay on the healthy side of wine con­sump­tion?

Ev­ery­thing in moder­a­tion. It’s bet­ter to go for qual­ity over quan­tity. Don’t just pour a glass on au­topi­lot – aim to drink the best wine you can and take time to en­joy it. New Zealand guide­lines rec­om­mend no more than two stan­dard drinks per day for women plus a cou­ple of al­co­hol-free days a week. Re­mem­ber, though, a stan­dard drink is

NOT the same as a glass, es­pe­cially with the gold­fish bowl styles pop­u­lar th­ese days. A glance at the stan­dard drinks per bot­tle shown on the la­bel will let you know if your pour size needs ad­just­ing.

And if it does? Try some­thing like Feb Fast or Dry July, or just take a break from drink­ing for a cou­ple of weeks and check your re­sponse; it will

It’s bet­ter to go for qual­ity over quan­tity and take time to en­joy it.

tell you if plea­sure is now turn­ing into habit.

Go low... With al­co­hol, more is def­i­nitely not bet­ter. Wine typ­i­cally ranges from 12 per cent to 14.5 per cent al­co­hol by vol­ume (ABV) but it can go as high as 16 per cent, mean­ing it’s fairly easy to ex­ceed those stan­dard drink guide­lines. The good news is there is now a grow­ing se­lec­tion of wines made to have ABVs of around nine per cent or lower; th­ese are usu­ally la­belled as “lighter” or some­times even “low carb”. Cer­tain va­ri­eties in cooler cli­mates will also pro­duce nat­u­rally lowal­co­hol wines – ries­ling is a great ex­am­ple.

Or even go wine free... If you do find the wine o’clock au­topi­lot kick­ing in ev­ery day, try an al­ter­na­tive ev­ery sec­ond day. Pour a soda wa­ter with fresh cit­rus, chopped mint or one of the trendy new soda syrups. Maybe go for a walk with a friend in­stead, try a new tea or cof­fee, or just re­lax with a mag­a­zine (you know which one!). Your liver will love you for it.

So, how much do I drink? Mostly about a bot­tle, some­times two, over a week. I might in­dulge in a bit more at par­ties, but that’s not a com­mon oc­cur­rence with three young chil­dren as alarm clocks! My view re­mains that a de­cent glass of wine or two is ab­so­lutely fine to en­joy reg­u­larly as part of a healthy diet and life­style, savoured with good food and great com­pany.

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