Make Mine Wine.

“Déjeuner sur L’Herbe” by Manet.

I passed by a yard flag the other day, it read: “Wine a bit, you’ll feel better.”

Cute, yes, but it turns out that drinking wine in moderation is actually good for us (along with coffee and chocolate — we’re waiting for the survey that says a daily Cuban cigar after a rare steak promotes longevity… .) We’re catching on, too. The USA is now the largest consumer of wines in the world, passing France for the first time.

But not all wines are created equal. There’s a debate going around about the higher percentage wines, identified by the ABV (alcohol by volume) statement on the label.

Higher percentage wines, those hovering in the 15% + area, are generally sweeter while remaining dry thanks to that big hit of alcohol. There are those who maintain that a higher percentage is desirable when paired with the right meal (cutting through the fat of that 2″ thick rare steak for example).

A lower ABV selection doesn’t mean that there’s something missing from the wine. What it does guarantee is that the second glass won’t send you over the legal limit if you’re driving home.

So, by all means wine a little at lunch and enjoy the benefits that the anti-oxidants bring. But be sure to check the percentage statement if you’re going to be productive that afternoon — or if you’re driving home.

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