My food and drinks column for the May issue of Reader’s Digest

If there’s one thing I look forward to come Friday evening, it’s ringing in the weekend with a well-prepared meal and the celebratory ‘pop’ of uncorking a fine bottle of wine. Everything, from thinking about what I’m going to make, to buying the wine and that moment when I swirl, sniff and delight in that much-anticipated first sip, brings me an incredible amount of joy. To me, the gustatory symphony created by the marriage of food and wine is one of life’s greatest pleasures. And yet here I am, wondering if I should curb my consumption after reading yet another study about the dangers of alcohol.

According to a report published by global marketing intelligence agency Mintel last year, “over half of UK consumers aged 18-34 worry about the effect of alcohol on their emotional wellbeing, and over two-thirds of all alcohol drinkers have the same concern.” I’m glad I’m not alone. Truth be told, however, except for professional wine tastings— in the company of a spittoon reminding me this is work—I don’t drink all that much. A glass of wine or scotch on the rocks on the couch after a hard day? Not my thing. Cocktails with friends? I’d rather stay home with a book and a cup of tea. My alcohol consumption is pretty much limited to those weekend wine indulgences or dinners out. Nevertheless, I was curious about all the buzz that buzz-free wines are stirring up these days and wondered if things had improved since the last time I bought a bottle of alcohol-free merlot (which was nothing more than watered down grape juice). 

Read the full column, published in the May issue of Reader’s Digest UK, here: 124-127 (14) (1) (1)