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Healthy Wine? Can alcohol be “good for you”?

April 13, 2022 4 min read

health and wine

Is there such a thing as "Healthy Wine?"

Some brands out there may want you to believe that their wine contains the elixir of life, and drinking it is actually beneficial for your health. But can wine be healthy? 

The short answer is…No.

Ethyl Alcohol (found in alcoholic beverages) is considered a toxin. If you ingest it in excessive quantities, it can be harmful or even deadly. If ingested in small amounts it can be stimulating whereas slightly larger amounts become a depressant. Many struggle with an addiction to alcohol while many don’t. It has been known to bring people together or even tear families apart.


Aside from alcohol, we put a lot of other chemicals in our bodies.


To name a few: 

We use our best judgment to control how much of a substance we put in our body. Everything, not just the bad things, should be “consumed in” moderation”. You would think that goes without saying, but… it doesn’t.


Now that you know the harm, should you avoid alcohol entirely?


I guess that depends on the person and their philosophy. That being said, we choose to partake- probably more than we should.

New studies have shown that any amount of alcohol can cause your brain to shrink in various ways (Cause of Brain Shrinkage in Alcoholics (verywellmind.com)). The body is an ecosystem of sorts. If you add a toxin, the body reacts. The more toxins you put in an ecosystem, the greater the reaction. That’s really just a nice way of saying it can screw up your body.

There is pretty much no way to spin that alcohol is good for you on a physical level. If you choose to have alcohol in your life, it is best to respect the fact that it can easily tilt your health towards the LESS HEALTHY side.

If we are only concerned about health, stay away from booze. But if you look at enjoying life, wine can certainly be a benefit. 

Wine can make a good dinner great. It can make meals with friends socially more enjoyable (e.g. social lubrication). For better or worse, sometimes a glass of wine, beer, or cocktail at the end of a long stressful day at work can be just what the doctor ordered. Is that worth the physical downside to you? Maybe not if you go out of moderation and give yourself a massive hangover. We certainly don’t advise that. But hey…it’s your life. Do with it what you want!


Don’t be swayed by false marketing


This brings us to a root problem. We are in a culture where health has been given a much higher priority than decades past. As more and more of the younger generation begin worrying about prolonging their lives with quinoa bowls and green shakes, wine companies are beginning to take advantage of the naivety of these young consumers. Wines that advertise themselves as clean, natural, or “healthy” take advantage of misinformation about how wine is made in order to position themselves as a healthy alternative. This kind of marketing is misleading and is causing more harm than good for the wine industry. If a company implies they “don’t add sugar” to their wine, it also implies that other companies do. In California, adding sugar is illegal. Though some wines are sweetened with “grape concentrate”- these wines are usually made from subpar fruit and the concentrate is added back to hide flaws in the wine (see this article for more on sweetness -What is Residual Sugar in Wine? | Wine Folly). This is just one example of many false advertisements.

Note: After writing this article the legal body that oversees wine labels and marketing, the TTB,  has just deemed using words like "clean" to make a wine seem like it is more healthy than others as 'misleading'. Any verbiage implying healthiness will now be considered unusable. More on this here: TTB Issues Statement on Clean Wine Claims | Wine Institute

No jealousy, but transparency


We're generally glad to see a company doing well. We appreciate a good marketing tactic to make a brand rise above the rest. However, a brand telling you that their alcohol is better for you than another is tough to swallow. We can appreciate companies letting me know how many calories are in their beverage, alcoholic or not. Knowing whether or not it’s organic is great too. But spinning an alcohol ashealthier is a crock of shit. Just give me the facts and let me decide if I think it is healthy, not your marketing team. 


Conclusion


Whether we admit it or not, drinking alcohol is generally an unhealthy choice. Some say drinking wine can be beneficial, but in moderation. At Lucky Rock Wine Co, we choose to make wine NOT because we want to hurt people, but because we believe that wine is a part of a human desire to enjoy life. Like climbing the tree as a kid (knowing full well it is dangerous), we pour ourselves a glass/shot to enjoy life in the way we choose to. We tend to skew on the side of liking to be informed, but not to the point that weneeda drink. Stress is a killer too- relax, stay awhile, have a drink.

Not to say that you should drink any kind of wine without consideration. To end misinformation, wine should be properly labeled to inform customers exactly what has gone into the wine, and how the wine was made. Labeling rules will take the teeth out of all of these “health wine” misinformation campaigns, while ensuring that the customer gets exactly the wine they want - whether it is a bold high calorie 15% abv Napa Cab or a low calorie low alcohol Sauvignon Blanc.


Safe travels, enjoy your life, and don’t stress over it too much. Nobody gets out alive anyways.


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