Although I imagine it’s more than most of my contemporaries, I have been comfortable with that amount because I’ve never exceeded it, at least not regularly. My reasoning was that if I had more than half a bottle one night, I’d be left with less than half the next.
I know it’s always good to monitor our drug and alcohol consumption, even if it’s firmly under control. So when I received my regular blood test results about six months ago, I asked the GP if he could see signs of excess alcohol consumption.
He said no. I asked the same of my nutritionist, and she agreed.
They probably recognise the mental health benefit of drinking a modest amount of alcohol each day, and that half a bottle a day is less than what most problem drinkers consume.
Nevertheless I continued to question the half bottle. Aside from the cost - about $10 over two evenings - drinking that amount meant that my head was not clear enough for me to do any serious reading after dinner. I thought that I would like to be able to read more at that time of day.
So I decided to have a quarter of a bottle a day instead of half a bottle. That worked in that I did not notice any loss of enjoyment of the wine and I had a clearer head afterwards.
Then a few weeks later the National Health and Medical Research Council released its updated guidelines. They suggested that 10 standard drinks each week is the most we should consume if we want to reduce our risk of harm from alcohol. A standard drink is 100ml of wine - half a glass, or a little more than an eighth of a bottle.
I decided that I would try keeping to one standard drink each day. This is less than the 1.4 standard drinks allowed but it assumes I will have more when I go out.
So far it has worked, and arguably my enjoyment has increased because I’m learning to savour wine rather than drink it.