A few days ago an interesting article came through my inbox that I had to run through Google Translate. Last week, French health officials warned the people of France to cut back on their wine consumption.
New benchmarks for alcohol consumption:
Maximum of 10 glasses per week,
Maximum 2 glasses a day,
Days in the week without consumption.
In summary :
"For your health, alcohol is maximum 2 glasses a day, and not every day".
I am not sure how the French are taking the warning, but it got me thinking. My wife and I usually have a cocktail or two every day and then a glass or two of wine at dinner. If we stick to that, we never feel hungover, but I wouldn't say we bounce out of bed the next day either. Sunday was tax/budget/numbers day so while we had the spreadsheets up, I started looking at our drinking rate and decided to cut back.
First off we are skipping some days. Monday and Thursday are now dry days. Not a drop of booze will pass our lips save for the negligible amounts in our daily kombucha. I will not be turning down invites to "grab a drink" I just won't be imbibing. I will stick to soda and lime or a tasty spiritfee.
Lower ABV / Stricter Measurements
Secondly, as much as we love our daily cocktail hour we are cutting down the ABV. I adore the martini. I love it so much I want to drink it for the rest of my life, and that means I should spread them out a little more so I can ensure that. Instead of mixing up a round of silver bullets every evening we are looking into more aperitif-style drinks in the fortified wine/Amari category and the cocktails that are made predominantly with those products. Lillet, Campari, Aperol, sherry, etc.
I can tell you right now I am looking forward to an ice-cold martini on Sunday afternoon while listening to the baseball game on the radio. Until then I am happy to wait for it. A weekend end treat!
In terms of wine for dinner on our wet days, we are using a 500 ml carafe to keep us honest. That equates to two small glasses a person at 125 ml (a touch over four ounces).
If we are out, we plan to stick to our rules. Dry days and all. The only exception is we may go for that martini to start but then stick to just a glass of wine with the meal. No need to get locked into a whole bottle for the two of us when we don't even need it. We both agreed that on vacation we could bend the rules a bit, but I hope that by the next time we take one we will have some good habits in place for that to not even be an issue.
The big take away here is being conscious of our drinking. We have been surrounded by booze due to our jobs for years. It has become too commonplace for us.
Dry Day Project Hour
On the dry days, we are re-dubbing "cocktail hour" into "project hour" and knocking out some things we have been putting off like donating clothes we don't wear anymore and making that trip to Home Depot for potting soil.
That brings me to the other issue of replacing things that get cut out. I talked briefly about cutting back on social media the other day and what I have found is that you have to have something to replace what you take away. Drinking less means that I will need to stick something in the hole that drinking was filling up. This could be taking a walk, reading a book, or any of the things in the back of your mind you've been putting off for months.
So thanks France! We are on board. Vive mon foie!
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