Moderation: What Does That Term Really Mean for Wine Drinkers?

by | Mar 25, 2019 | Eve's Wine 101

 In 2011, I penned the “Benefits of Moderate Drinking,” for élite Magazine, quoting the internationally recognized source Wine and Spirits Education Trust, the American Cancer Society and a local nutritionist. So this time, as I have a few years under my (wine) belt, I won’t be lecturing you on what the experts say about better health, instead I will share what I’ve come to learn about wine drinking in moderation through many more years of study.
Easy peasy: drink one glass of wine for every glass of water, wait, no, reverse that, lol! If you hydrate with water between glasses of wine it will lessen your inebriation as well as your appetite – for more wine.
If you’re not a beer drinker, have one. I guarantee that a wine drinker that tries beer or hard cider will feel full much sooner than they would with wine.
Take advantage of the verboten ice in wine trick. I do this with Sangria, but I have seen pals do it to rapidly chill a light white or pink wine, with the added benefit of lessening the alcohol while increasing your fluid intake.
At a wine tasting event: take a sip and pour it out the rest! Yes, I said pour out! Unless you are at an event that is only serving you two glasses in total, you will be offered far too much than you can consume. Think of it this way: as a professional I have been faced with hundreds of wines in tastings and as a judge. In the former I can sip and swallow, a bit, but usually have “palate fatigue” at some point and have to stop. As a judge nothing is swallowed, which slows down palate fatigue. As a consumer you will be hit with palate fatigue, so why not just swallow what tasted great to begin with? What a waste of calories to do anything else.
As a guest in someone’s home: please taste a sample of the offered wine before pouring yourself a full glass. I do this all the time and no one thinks less of me, and if I’m only having a glass or two it keeps me from wasting my drinks on something I didn’t like to begin with.
Calories in alcohol can add up. In the film Tootsie, when Dustin Hoffman (dressed as Dorothy) asks Jessica Lange (as Julie) why she drinks so much she replied, “Because it’s not fattening and it’s not good for me. How many things can you say that about?” I kind of hung onto that line for years, only realizing later that Julie is often seen with a glass of wine, too often. Wine is definitely fattening, especially when we aren’t thinking about how much we are consuming. Which leads me to my last point: Think about what you consume.
Years ago I was quoted for saying something along the lines of, “People that think about wine – the aroma, the flavor, the finish, the work the winemaker put into it – those people are more apt to notice their surroundings more. They are more aware of everything they put in their mouth, what they see around them, etc., and are more appreciative…”
So I leave you with that. Think about your wine. Think about if you haven’t had any water. If it’s a hot day by the pool, add in those ice cubes. Try a hard cider and be done with one. If you no longer can taste the wine in your glass you may have palate fatigue.
And though I wish Jessica Lange had been right, wine is fattening, but it’s not bad for you – in moderation.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via


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