Smart women and wine

According to a large scientific study, if you are a smart woman you are more likely to drink wine.

The London School of Economics began a study of 20,000 women born the same week in 1970. Results continue to fascinate.

According to the study, the more educated a woman, the more likely she is to drink alcohol. Sadly, too, she is more likely to report problems with alcohol.

From aptitude tests conducted when women were five and 10 years old, those who achieved medium or high test scores were more likely to drink daily later in life. Similarly, higher a woman’s education level, more likely she is to consume alcohol.

Men, too, are more likely to consume alcohol if they score high on achievement tests, but correlation is less pronounced. High-scoring men are 50 percent more likely to drink daily than lower-scoring brothers. High-scoring women are 200 percent more likely to drink daily than lower-scoring sisters.

Now in its fifth decade, the study notes high-achieving females typically have more exposure to alcohol during formative years, have a more intensive social life, have greater participation in male spheres of life where alcohol abuse is more common, postpone child bearing, and have more disposable income.

Alcohol abuse is dark side of writing about wine. Fortunately, wine drinkers are less likely to be alcoholics. We certainly are not immune, but wine’s close association with food and its lower alcohol content compared with spirits makes wine the wiser choice, at least in the prejudiced opinion of this male wine writer.

Tasting notes:

• Ruta 22 Malbec Patagonia 2011. Raspberry, plum, dark fruit; smooth, delicious, consistent value win from southernmost part of Argentina. $13

• Simi Sonoma County Chardonnay 2010. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel; pear, apple, peach, citrus; nice acidity, restrained oak toast; real value. $15

• Marquis Philips Sarah’s Blend South Eastern Australia 2007. Jammy power; plum, chocolate, chewy tannin; cab-merlot-shiraz; decant to bring out its best. $17

Last round: I went shopping for a bottle of wine for you. I found several for myself. I’m still looking for your bottle.