reason to drink wine 1

The best reason to drink wine this weekend

Winter always feels surprisingly long after Christmas, the weather hasn’t magically improved, and there are no twinkly lights and far less excuses to drink wine and get together with people you like (and don’t like for that matter) as there were in December.

So it’s really important that you do it anyway… here’s why…

Why wine can help make you healthy

I was at an event a few weeks ago, full of restaurateurs, bar owners and drinks industry bods, where there was a whole session on wellness, which is pretty overlooked in the booze industry. The presumption seems to be that alcohol and looking after your health are mutually exclusive, and mostly, in this world of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, drinking is bad.

Wine gets a small stay of execution, particularly red wine, thanks to a tribe of long-living, elderly Mediterraneans and Sardinians whose diet includes a couple of glasses a day. Thus proving that wine cannot be an actual bad thing (red wine particularly as some very good antioxidants, polyphenols etc.).

However, there is a ‘health’ benefit to alcohol that is mostly overlooked. I often refer to wine drinking as social oil; a glass of wine in the evening with a friend is the excuse for a get-together and a chat and the occasional after work glass is how we get to know our colleagues better. Listen to anyone’s big life story and a glass of wine with a friend turns up at that ‘big decision’ moment. While that all sounds very soft and fluffy, according to a recent study, decent, quality social networks are as important to our health as exercise and diet.

The study, from the University of North Carolina, tracked people’s social networks over their lifetime and compared it with their health, showing that social interaction could reduce conditions like inflammation and obesity and have more of an impact on life expectancy than diabetes or hypertension. In early and late phases of life size (of network) does matter, but in between, it’s all about the quality of your network. Which must mean investing in your relationships via a glass of wine is probably going to offset any negative impact of the wine (ok, so maybe I made that last link in my head but you can see the logic)

So instead of feeling guilty about your glass of wine on Friday evening, consider it an investment into your long term health and wellbeing – just don’t undo it all by ordering the 3rd bottle!