They say wine, especially red wine, is good for you. It's to do with those polyphenols, apparently. They're antioxidants which protect the lining of the arteries, making them less likely to fur up. You are then less likely to have a heart attack.
As for myself, I just like the taste, and the feeling of bonhomie that comes with having a glass or two. I think hippo (my daemon) - see below - enjoys wine too. It quietens him down, and in so doing makes me feel more at peace with the world.
But there's a downside to drinking alcoholic beverages, even in moderation. And it goes without saying that I always drink in moderation.
It's to do with those calories. Having once been Head of Nutrition at a Research Association, and
being constantly on call to answer queries, there were certain key numbers that one kept in one's head.
They were: carbohydrate =4; protein =4; fat =9; alcohol =7. Those figures are the energy values expressed in kcals/gram. And as you can see, pure alcohol, gram for gram, is almost as calorific as fat itself. Put more bluntly, alcohol's almost as fattening as fat itself. Not many people know that, as Michael Caine might say.
To really bring it home, I've been doing some back-of-envelope calculations.
Rather than blitz you with a lot of figures, here's something I hope will leave you with a simple take-away message.
Suppose that you and your partner intend to share a bottle of wine tonight. It could be medium dry red, rosé or white .
But suppose your wine rack's empty, and you have to go out to buy it. And let's suppose you walk at a fairly brisk pace to the off-licence, supermarket whatever.
How far away would that outlet have to be from your home, such that you use up the same number of calories in collecting it as you will gain, later this evening when you consume it ? I think you will be surprised at the answer. I know I was.
To be "calorie-neutral" your wine outlet has to be approximately one and a half miles from your home.
Now there's a sobering thought !