Most primary care physicians, as a routine part of a well visit, will ask about your drinking habits. Having spent more time than usual this past year in doctors offices, the dialogue, always with the word “moderately,” and my answer, always the same, came up a half dozen times:
“Do you drink alcohol?”
“Three or four drinks per week.”
“Hmm. Uh — yes, moderately.”
Truth is, I’m a liar. I’ve started drinking wine at home. Every day. Since I’m dedicated to maintaining good health and my well-being, I know that comes with being happy. So if happiness includes opening a bottle of wine to close down the day’s toil (and every day has some toil), I will pop that cork.
I haven’t always enjoyed a daily dose of wine. I’m a social drinker. I just about salivate my way towards that first sip and, just as mouth-watering, is the anticipation of sharing it with other people. I rarely have a drink before I go out for the evening. But I’m more mature now, and my drinking has fully-developed. I drink gloriously. Like a European.
I’ve come to enjoy and look forward to grabbing the bottle by the neck before I open it up to let it breathe. (I confess that I can’t tell the difference between wine that sits for a bit to “breathe,” or wine that I’ve pulled the broken cork out with my teeth and sucked a first sip right out of the bottle.)
Regardless, once that bottle is untethered, all of the senses start to revel. The smell of an inky, purple-y Malbec, or a freezer-chilled, buttery Chardonnay soothes from the nose down. Unlike that first sip of vodka, which usually makes me quiver into a hoot (“Woo!”), wine whispers its way down my throat, turns up the corners of my mouth, and closes my eyes. It makes the end of the day celebratory; well-lived. Deserved.
Since I’m not a fan of feeling groggy at night, or heavy-headed the morning after, one glass usually suffices when I’m not sharing. I use the 1940s wheat-etched glasses that my Irish mom (who doesn’t drink a lick), recently gave to me. They’re just a touch of glass; delicate. And I can fill them just below the brim (once) — a pour that is improper (and probably against the law) outside of the home.
So perhaps I will fess up at the next visit to the doctor: Yes, I drink alcohol. Moderately. Every day. I drink wine every day. But usually just one glass. I moderately-pour usually-one glass of wine into a moderately-sized vintage glass. Every day.