Of course, the magazine has an interest in encouraging alcohol consumption. That said, the amount endorsed is moderate. It is fair to say that most of its readers are likely to drink wine in limited quantities. Plus, the worldwide data may not take into account a country’s local customs. As Howard Sesso, professor at Brigham and Women’s University, notes, “The reasons for people drinking in the United States might be very different from the reasons why people drink in Japan, or in any other country for that matter.”
Wine is here to stay. Given that the oldest known winery was built in 4100 BC—over 6,000 years ago—the beverage is not likely to disappear. Nor are its consumers. In 2016, according to the Wine Institute, almost 3 gallons were drunk for every person in the United States.
For an individual, one question may be, “How much does my wine consumption affect either my quality of life, or the length of it?” Each person has to decide how to weigh the cost. As David Spiegelhalter, a professor at Cambridge University says, “I would tell someone that drinking within [the U.K.’s] current guidelines [of 14 units per week or less] is very low risk, but drinking more than two drinks a day on average increases the health risks.”
Consumers ultimately have to decide for themselves. There is much to be said for quality of life. Many people find wine a pleasant part of living.
That said, if you are drinking a bottle of wine every day, you might want to take a look at your drinking habits. Take our 11-question test—either for you, or for a friend—to see if you might be at risk.
If you’d like to discuss your alcohol use with us, we’re ready to help.