Socialization benefits of wine

Wine drinkers adore scientific studies showing moderate wine consumption promotes good health. Moderate consumption may increase longevity, lower risk of Alzheimer’s, decrease pulmonary disease in men, decrease risk of dementia.

Wow. Pop cork. Celebrate. But, wait, of course there is fine print. “Moderate” can mean as little as one glass of wine per day for women and two for men. I know a few people who are that parsimonious with their pours. I am not one of them.

All is not lost. Alcohol quantity may not be the variable. Maybe lifestyles and attitudes are why wine drinkers live longer and enjoy the other good things. According to a study in the journal The Gerontologist, socialization and interactions with other people are the characteristics of moderate drinkers that deliver benefits. People who consumer alcohol possess personalities that promote longer and better lives.

The study found moderate drinking is associated with more frequent contact with friends and a more active social life compared to those who abstain from alcohol. Contact with friends and a richer social life reduced incidences of depression and promoted overall good health.

A second study indicated moderate drinkers were more functional in daily living tasks such as use of telephones, doing laundry, and handling finances. Again, the researchers found moderate drinkers had more active social lives, had richer social networks, more social interactions. All good things.

Takeaway: Social interaction is vital component of good health. Moderate drinking seems to encourage social interaction or at least is associated with it. Scientists are loath to assert people socialize better and more often when there is a wee bit of alcohol to sand off edges. Wine writers are not so constrained. Improve your chances of living longer and happier—pair good friends, good food, and good wine tonight.

Tasting notes:

• Martini & Rossi Asti Sparkling Wine DOCG NV: Vividly sweet; concentrated fruit; good acidity. $11-13 Link to my review

• Domaine Bousquet Tupungato Uco Valley Reserve Chardonnay 2018: Vibrant tartness, citrus pairs with bright acidity for layered, sophisticated pour. $13-18 Link to my review

• Domaine de la Janasse Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2017: Delightfully fruity, smooth easy drinker with acidity and weight of a Côtes du Rhône white. $22-27 Link to my review

• Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017: Rich, dark fruit; plush, full in the mouth. $28-36 Link to my review

Last round: “If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking and loving, you don’t actually live longer; it just seems longer.”—Clement Freud