Author Topic: How much is too much alcohol?  (Read 17086 times)

MMMdude

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How much is too much alcohol?
« on: April 26, 2014, 02:17:27 PM »
Me and my DW like to have wine during the week.  This is kind of a typical week for us.  Monday...well Monday's suck, let's grab a bottle of wine on the way home.  Also often get a bottle on a Wednesday or Thursday (and sometimes it is two bottles).  Then one day a weekend we will drink two bottles between us.  Sunday dinner at mom's means we will drink maybe another half bottle between us.

So in total we are drinking 5-6 bottles of wine during a week (so that is 2.5 to 3 per person per week).  Is this excessive?

We don't drink much beyond that.  Perhaps some beer if it's hot outside or a few cocktails/ceasers here and there if we are celebrating something.

Greg

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 02:34:01 PM »
A 750ml bottle has 4.16 6 oz. servings in it.  2 servings a day per person is considered the high side of healthy.  So my Dr. says. 

So, by my math you're consuming 1.7 servings per person per day on the high end, so it's probably fine.


galliver

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 02:41:20 PM »
If you finish the bottle between you because you don't want it to sour overnight, you could try box wine. There are some better varieties (BotaBox, BlackBox, etc) and then you can go down to one glass Sun-Thurs and splurge on a bottle Fri/Sat. If you're concerned about it.

SoftwareGoddess

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 02:45:02 PM »
2 servings a day per person is considered the high side of healthy.  So my Dr. says. 

For a man. For a woman it's 1 serving per day. So it sounds to me like the OP and/or OP's DW are drinking more than is considered healthy.

Argyle

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 04:18:21 PM »
Yep, you're verging on some overdoing it.  The question on whether it's become an addiction is whether you keep doing it even if it's interfering with your life, and/or whether you have trouble stopping.  The fact that you drink because "Mondays suck" suggests you're doing it for the numbing qualities, not just because you're a wine conoisseur.  So that's a signal that maybe you want to hold off while you're still in control of the drinking instead of vice versa.  You might designate weeknights alcohol-free, or decide never to go over one drink a night -- or just stop altogether.  If any of those turn out to be a problem, and you just can't stick to the limits you decide for yourselves, then that's something to think about seriously, and you might want to find a recovery program.  The people who set limits before things get out of control are the ones with successful lives.  And if the limits work, then it's all good.

NinetyFour

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 05:24:12 PM »
Sounds like a lot to me.  But then, I haven't had any alcohol for 26 months.

I think it's a personal thing--depends on your body chemistry and psychology.  I would encourage you to try to sort out whether you are in control or whether the alcohol is.  And, like Argyle said, try tweaking your limits to see what happens.

onehappypanda

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 05:39:10 PM »
With 2.5-3 bottles per person per week, and 4-5 servings per bottle, you're looking at 10-15 servings per week per person. For a woman, that's more than what is considered healthy (7/week). For a man, that's on the high side. More than 3-4 drinks in a single day is considered binge drinking by some, so that's something to consider too. If you're downing two bottles between you on a single night, that would qualify.

More info: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking

I don't say this judgmentally - I had a very similar pattern of drinking at one point. Hard numbers are helpful but some of the questions I thought about that really helped me pinpoint why I felt it was problematic were: Do you feel uncomfortable telling other people how much you drink? Do you feel like you are drinking emotionally? Do you feel like you could set a reduced limit and stick to it? If not, why?

 The hard numbers for "too much" are based on health concerns, but may not account for emotional issues or the potential for dependency. The most helpful thing for me was to track the number of drinks I had in a week, then choose a reduced limit and stick to it as much as possible. If you find yourself consistently going over, figure out why. If it's something emotional (e.g. drinking to handle stress or social situations), then that can be indicative of a larger issue that you might want to address.

brewer12345

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 06:09:44 PM »
Meh, no problem.  Keeps your blood thin.

Pat96714

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2014, 06:20:53 PM »
That sounds like you've created yourself a bit of a habit.  I too have habits of a different variety, and at times I've had to ask myself why I feel the need for a substance to come down from a long day.  I think that probably boils down to lifestyle choices.  It sure is nice to enjoy a good bottle of wine (pick your poison) but 6 bottles a week sounds like a relatively expensive habit, in terms of dollars. 

Assuming you don't drink the bottom shelf, sugar-infused labels, your spending between $8 and $20 a bottle.  At 6 bottles a week, that's $36 to $120 per week on wine.  $1,872 to $6,240 per year.  That's $18,720 to $62,240 over ten years in actually spending (not adjusting for inflation).

If you just cut you habit in half, and assuming a your getting a 4% return on what you've saved, you'll have accrued between $13,072.73 and $43,575,78 over the same 10 years.  You'll probably free up your time a fair amount to do some other enjoyable, more productive things.

I think I've talked myself into adjusting my own habits!

ps.  I was a bartender for years and was always amazed at how many "regulars" would come in and drop $50-100 five days a week. 

yyc-phil

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2014, 06:59:30 PM »
My wife never used to drink wine, except very rarely on special occasions, but now that i spend three weeks far away, followed by two weeks home, having one glass of red wine together at every dinner when I am home has become a nice way to connect after being separated for so long. A bottle of wine will usually last us two days, so we consume probably a maximum of 5 or 6 bottles per month. Other than this, we do not drink anything else except water, and our morning cappuccino. Except for the cost and considering that we always buy whatever is on special for $5.99, I don't think our wine consumption is excessive. Yours seems to be very similar to ours, except that ours lasts only two weeks followed by three weeks of total abstinence.

iris lily

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2014, 07:22:21 PM »
Me and my DW like to have wine during the week.  This is kind of a typical week for us.  Monday...well Monday's suck, let's grab a bottle of wine on the way home.  Also often get a bottle on a Wednesday or Thursday (and sometimes it is two bottles).  Then one day a weekend we will drink two bottles between us.  Sunday dinner at mom's means we will drink maybe another half bottle between us.

So in total we are drinking 5-6 bottles of wine during a week (so that is 2.5 to 3 per person per week).  Is this excessive?

We don't drink much beyond that.  Perhaps some beer if it's hot outside or a few cocktails/ceasers here and there if we are celebrating something.
I'm glad that you are asking this question and I don't have an answer. As the sole wine drinker in our household I drink 2 - 3 bottles a week. I'm a little worried about that being excessive. I am paying attention to it. Still, I have not changed that behavior.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2014, 07:23:51 PM »
When we let ourselves have wine, DW and I will go through a box wine (4 bottles worth) in two weeks. That felt like a lot, personally.

A glass with dinner can be nice. Sometimes it's two, one while I cook, one while we eat.

I'd consider cutting back. And as a former connoisseur, a vacuum wine cork will keep most reds bottle fresh on the second day, and quite drinkable up to 5 days.

I have this one and it works quite well:

http://www.amazon.com/Vacu-Vin-0981450-Vacuum-Stoppers/dp/B000GA3KCE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398561761&sr=8-1&keywords=vacuum+wine+stopper

Clover

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2014, 07:36:56 PM »
As someone who has consumed three small margaritas already this evening, I should probably refrain from responding to this post... if given the choice I would take a glass of wine over a slice of cake any day.  If you  decide not to drink for a day or a week can you commit to it?  if so, there's no problem.  If not, there could be an issue. 

imustachemystash

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2014, 07:41:54 PM »
I think that's a lot.  Women should only drink one glass of wine a day.  Maybe try cutting back and adding that money to your stash.  Also, if you are drinking so much it can make you unproductive.  Mu husband and I go through a bottle of wine and a six pack per week. We have little kids and it's the only way to stay sane :)

chucklesmcgee

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 07:43:41 PM »
You should probably look at boxed wine or some of the petit bottles that are 387 or 190 ml.

franklin w. dixon

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2014, 08:16:36 PM »
If you want to save money, making wine at home would probably be fun. I've made around 55 gallons of beer so far and it ends up costing about half of what I previously bought per bottle. Brewing isn't that efficient (a 5 gallon batch takes me something like 6-8 hours of work and saves $40) but I'd guess wine savings would be more. If you want to drink less, I'm the wrongggg guy to answer that!

alexgodden

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2014, 10:10:03 PM »
The health guidelines are really on the conservative end, because they are meant to be safe for everyone, whereas people vary widely (both due to physical size and genetic predisposition) in their ability to metabolize alcohol. You are the best judge of how much is too much for you personally.

How do you feel the morning after you drink 2-3 glasses of wine? More importantly, how do you feel after not drinking for several days?

If you feel just as fine on waking up in both situations, you're probably not doing your health any damage, and I'd suggest looking at boxed wine or homebrewing to minimize the damage to your wallet.
If you notice that you feel a bit sluggish, dopey or headache-y the morning after, or conversely that you feel a lot more energized and peppy after not drinking, then I'd suggest cutting back. Not just for your health, but generally it is easier to get stuff done, focus on work and hobbies etc with a clear head.

I'm British and have a more European attitude to alcohol in general, but I also know that more than 2 glasses and I don't sleep well. It's also much easier to get up find time time for yoga before work without it, which also covers the relaxation element nicely. Another cheaper and possibly healthier option for winding down is a smoke instead, but then I live in CA where that is allowed :)

seattlecyclone

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2014, 11:12:53 PM »
A full bottle for one person in one evening does seem to be excessive to me. "Excessive" drinking once in a while is not necessarily a big deal; I do it from time to time myself. It may be a sign of a problem if you do it once or twice a week.

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2014, 11:18:01 PM »
I'm imagining how different this thread would be were the participants from, say, Italy.

If you don't need to have the wine, I think your level of consumption is just fine.  If it's bothering you enough to question it though, maybe cut back a little?  But I don't think, personally, that you need to cut back if it doesn't bother you.
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dragoncar

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2014, 01:16:08 AM »
The health guidelines are really on the conservative end, because they are meant to be safe for everyone, whereas people vary widely (both due to physical size and genetic predisposition) in their ability to metabolize alcohol. You are the best judge of how much is too much for you personally.

How do you feel the morning after you drink 2-3 glasses of wine? More importantly, how do you feel after not drinking for several days?

If you feel just as fine on waking up in both situations, you're probably not doing your health any damage, and I'd suggest looking at boxed wine or homebrewing to minimize the damage to your wallet.
If you notice that you feel a bit sluggish, dopey or headache-y the morning after, or conversely that you feel a lot more energized and peppy after not drinking, then I'd suggest cutting back. Not just for your health, but generally it is easier to get stuff done, focus on work and hobbies etc with a clear head.

I'm British and have a more European attitude to alcohol in general, but I also know that more than 2 glasses and I don't sleep well. It's also much easier to get up find time time for yoga before work without it, which also covers the relaxation element nicely. Another cheaper and possibly healthier option for winding down is a smoke instead, but then I live in CA where that is allowed :)

I think you are right.  Purely for liver damage I think the threshold is higher - maybe 5 drinks per day.  But from a habit forming, budget, and weight standpoint, I'd try to limit to 1-2, but not every day ( weekends only?).  At least that's what makes me feel better. 

That said, if there are no observable adverse affects, I think 2/day is fine.  I'm not a medical professional.  If curious, get your liver enzymes checked at the next checkup.

Argyle

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2014, 01:24:47 AM »
There are really three questions here. 

1. How much spent on alcoholic is more money than we should be spending?
2. How much drinking is healthy and at what point would we be endangering our livers, alertness, general health, etc.?
3. At what point should we be cautious about heading into compulsive territory, accelerating drinking, and no longer being wholly in control of our drinking?

The answers to the three may well be at different points.  But I think all of them are useful questions.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2014, 06:16:00 AM »
For the record, I believe MMM weighed in on this himself. The official opinion is six drinks per week at no more than $9 per person per week :-).

My mother drinks that much and whenever I visit her I'm like, "Damn, does she ever put that wineglass down?"

tariskat

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2014, 07:48:32 AM »
If it makes you wonder if you have formed a bad habit, try this. For a month, don't drink. Don't finish off what's in the  fridge, don't stock up if there's a sale, don't touch the stuff.  May is coming up and would be a good time to do it.

At the end of the month you will know how hard it was to give up the habit, how much money you kept in your pocket from not buying it, and if you felt better that month.

When I do this, I usually end up drinking less in general afterwards, and have reassured myself that I haven't formed  bad habits since I could go cold-turkey.

If you can't stop for a month, you have an answer. A month is arbitrary, yes, but it makes it very easy to remember, and surpasses the habit-forming number of days or weeks or whatever.

BikerSaver

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2014, 01:14:55 PM »
I could have written this post.  My husband and I had basically the same wine drinking habit.  Work sucked and it was so easy to relax with a glass or two of wine before dinner.  I asked myself the same question and for me, it was too much.  I finally realized that I had become an extremely lazy person while sitting around the house, drinking wine and watching television every night.  I wasn't doing things that I enjoyed, spent a lot of money ($12-14 per bottle) and put on a lot of weight.  We finally substituted going to the gym for the wine.  We eat dinner earlier and then go after dinner.  Even though the gym membership isn't totally mustaschean, it's cheaper than the wine and has become a win-win; I drink less wine and exercise more.  We've been going to the gym for about 6 weeks and I feel a lot better since making the switch.  This week my total alcohol consumption was two glasses of wine last Sunday and one glass of wine yesterday. 

It's really hard for me to break bad habits, so it was important to have something to replace the wine/sitting/bitching.  I've tried replacing the wine with sparkling water or another non-alcoholic drink and nothing really stuck.  Personally, I wouldn't switch to the box wine.  For me, it's really easy to refill my glass.  If there's only one bottle in the house, I'm not going to drink more than 1/2 the bottle when I split with my husband.  With the box, it's easy for the 2 1/2 glasses to become more.

mm1970

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2014, 09:51:06 PM »
I guess it depends on if you NEED it.

For health reasons, I'd stick to <1 a day for women.

I personally keep it to 0 to 1 bottle a week. I prefer 0 (trying to lose weight), but when I open a bottle, I finish it (my husband doesn't really drink), so that would be 5 drinks in a week.

My mother was an alcoholic and it killed her.  I'm hyper-aware.  I see my FIL going down the same path.

rocklebock

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2014, 11:39:14 PM »
I also could have written this post about 5 years ago. I thought what I was drinking was "average" because that seemed to be about what most people I knew drank. I eventually realized it was not "average" to wake up feeling like crap 2-3 mornings a week because I'd split a bottle of wine with someone the night before. I never felt like I had a dependency, it was just a really bad Ihabit. And talk about a budget killer. There were definitely weeks when I spent more on beer/wine than I spend on my entire grocery bill now. My alcohol budget is now $16 for a box wine that lasts me about 3 weeks.

It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2014, 05:45:25 AM »
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

Good observation. Definitely something I've seen as well.

norabird

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #27 on: April 28, 2014, 07:48:15 AM »
I drink wine several nights a week, usually; if I have dinner at home I'll have two glasses over the course of the night, and I'll usually have two or three glasses at a friend's cookout or bookclub, etc. So going through a bottle in one night as a couple doesn't sound excessive (my parents also always have wine with dinner so I grew up with this as the civilized norm). But two bottles on a one weekend day for the two of you does sound to be pushing it. Since you're obviously worrying about it, try to cut back on the amount you're consuming.

iris lily

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2014, 08:12:07 AM »
...
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

I am aware of "palate creep" and so consciously keep my go-to wines under $12.00. I would love to keep them at $10 but that shipped sailed a few years ago.

There was a cab popular in our area  (Waterstone, for anyone who cares) that was around $15 and I loved it. So I broke the "under $12" rule for a year, buying that one sometimes as my "go to" wine. But I watched that thing go up to $17, then $20, then $21. I had to drop out of that game.

Now my slightly upscale wine is Magdalena cab. It's nice at around $15.

But generally I buy Columbia Valley wines at $10 - $12 and I do like the Coppola claret blend at $11.99. Last year it was $11.49. ack.

dcheesi

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2014, 11:14:26 AM »
Speaking of palate creep: My gf's father is a wine snob, which is where she got her love of wine. We went to visit over the holidays, and brought a couple of our favorite local wines to share. Her dad of course brought a $100 bottle; even before we googled the price, we could tell that it was a nice one. Still, it wasn't so earth-shattering that it really warranted $20 a glass(!).

But after that, we pulled out a $20 bottle (high end for us) that we had been really impressed with a few weeks before --and all of a sudden it tasted cheap and fruity by comparison. And when we went on a wine-tasting tour a couple of weeks later, nothing really made an impression except for the one place that made super-tannic, $50-$100 reds. It took maybe a month before we could appreciate our usual favorites again.

Palate creep is not only real, but frighteningly quick in some cases! And totally not worth it, given that we usually enjoy our favorite local offerings just as much as we did that one glass of fancypants vino.

norabird

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2014, 12:16:25 PM »
Quote
But after that, we pulled out a $20 bottle (high end for us) that we had been really impressed with a few weeks before --and all of a sudden it tasted cheap and fruity by comparison. And when we went on a wine-tasting tour a couple of weeks later, nothing really made an impression except for the one place that made super-tannic, $50-$100 reds. It took maybe a month before we could appreciate our usual favorites again.

Everyone has different values, and I certainly understand not wanting to drop $100 on a bottle of wine (I certainly can't!), the idea of re-training your palate to forget about something of higher quality in order to be content with something mediocre seems sad to me! Depending on your circumstances it might be wise and necessary, but if something is truly better (and of course a lot of the perception of quality comes directly from the perception of price, so many grains of salt needed), then valuing it higher and perhaps having one bottle of $100 wine every month instead of five bottles of $20 wine might be worth it, if the difference in quality was really so vast.

dragoncar

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2014, 12:21:28 PM »
Speaking of palate creep: My gf's father is a wine snob, which is where she got her love of wine. We went to visit over the holidays, and brought a couple of our favorite local wines to share. Her dad of course brought a $100 bottle; even before we googled the price, we could tell that it was a nice one. Still, it wasn't so earth-shattering that it really warranted $20 a glass(!).

But after that, we pulled out a $20 bottle (high end for us) that we had been really impressed with a few weeks before --and all of a sudden it tasted cheap and fruity by comparison. And when we went on a wine-tasting tour a couple of weeks later, nothing really made an impression except for the one place that made super-tannic, $50-$100 reds. It took maybe a month before we could appreciate our usual favorites again.

Palate creep is not only real, but frighteningly quick in some cases! And totally not worth it, given that we usually enjoy our favorite local offerings just as much as we did that one glass of fancypants vino.

Mmm... cheap and fruity, just the way I likes em'!  But if tannic acid is your thing, a few drops of this could go a long way:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/liquid-tannin-4-oz.html

dcheesi

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2014, 12:35:09 PM »
Quote
But after that, we pulled out a $20 bottle (high end for us) that we had been really impressed with a few weeks before --and all of a sudden it tasted cheap and fruity by comparison. And when we went on a wine-tasting tour a couple of weeks later, nothing really made an impression except for the one place that made super-tannic, $50-$100 reds. It took maybe a month before we could appreciate our usual favorites again.

Everyone has different values, and I certainly understand not wanting to drop $100 on a bottle of wine (I certainly can't!), the idea of re-training your palate to forget about something of higher quality in order to be content with something mediocre seems sad to me! Depending on your circumstances it might be wise and necessary, but if something is truly better (and of course a lot of the perception of quality comes directly from the perception of price, so many grains of salt needed), then valuing it higher and perhaps having one bottle of $100 wine every month instead of five bottles of $20 wine might be worth it, if the difference in quality was really so vast.
That's my point, though --when we discovered that $20 bottle, it just as impressive and pleasurable to us as the $100 bottle was later on. Both of them are good wines, and it's only in direct comparison that the differences become obvious. It's not like the $5-bottle range where there are noticeable deficiencies in certain characteristics; the $20 bottle is a well rounded, quality wine, and if we'd never compared it directly against the $100 bottle, we would never have felt that we were missing anything.

In general, the experience of wine tasting is as much psychological as physical. And not just in the sense of what you think about what you're tasting; the taste itself, and the level of pleasure directly felt, are both modified by external factors like room "ambiance" and perceived wine quality/price.

Fishingmn

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2014, 01:06:15 PM »
As Alex said, 1-2 drinks/day isn't typically a medical issue. Current thinking around the 1 question that matters is here - https://www.drugfree.org/join-together/alcohol/doctors-can-uncover-drug-or-alcohol-use-with-just-one-question-study

Quote
Primary care doctors can discover whether patients are abusing drugs or alcohol by asking a single question, a new study finds.

Asking patients how many times in the past year they consumed five or more drinks in a day (for men), and four or more (for women) is just as effective as administering a longer screening questionnaire in uncovering alcohol dependence, according to Dr. Richard Saitz of the Boston University School of Public Health.

Sounds to me like you are fine from that standpoint.

Therefore, the real question is more about how does the purchase of alcohol fit in with your financial plan. Everyone here has to make their own decisions about what they spend their money on and it sounds like you are getting a very good economic benefit but you have to decide the right amount.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2014, 01:53:06 PM »
If it makes you wonder if you have formed a bad habit, try this. For a month, don't drink. Don't finish off what's in the  fridge, don't stock up if there's a sale, don't touch the stuff.  May is coming up and would be a good time to do it.

At the end of the month you will know how hard it was to give up the habit, how much money you kept in your pocket from not buying it, and if you felt better that month.

When I do this, I usually end up drinking less in general afterwards, and have reassured myself that I haven't formed  bad habits since I could go cold-turkey.

If you can't stop for a month, you have an answer. A month is arbitrary, yes, but it makes it very easy to remember, and surpasses the habit-forming number of days or weeks or whatever.

+1. I cut way back on drinking for Lent (gave up wine and beer, which meant I only had 0-1 cocktails per week... usually my boyfriend and I drink about much as you and your SO). It felt great and gave me the confidence that I CAN cut back, but also made me really appreciate the beer and/or glass of wine I often like to drink while cooking dinner. It's nice to be back, but it was good to take a break, too... I can see myself doing this every year. Don't think I'd every cut it out completely, though, unless I had to for health reasons. It's a hobby.

It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

Interesting perspective. My knee jerk reaction was to get defensive about this, but I will have to give it some thought. I would say my bf and I spend money on craft beer because it's fun to try new beers and compare them, and learn about what goes into making them different. My palate definitely isn't too refined, I drink shitty beer sometimes too and I have a very soft spot for Grain Belt :) but I will have to inspect my motives a little more!

beltim

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2014, 02:01:35 PM »
There's a fairly large body of literature that the optimal health outcomes come from people who consume 1-2 drinks per day, and even those who drink 3-4 drinks per day have better health outcomes than those who don't drink at all.

So, from a total health perspective it looks you are still in the range of better health outcomes than those who do not drink alcohol.

greaper007

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2014, 02:32:55 PM »
I like that there are a few people who take a pro drinking standpoint here.    Personally, I get fairly drunk on a single bottle of wine unless I'm consuming it over an entire day.   If it was just with dinner that would be too much for me.


I like to drink alcohol by quantity, not necessarily for a buzz.    By that I mean once I start drinking I often like to continue drinking for the rest of the evening.    I have a hard time doing that with wine, so I've switched to session beers.    I can make them for about $.32 a piece, and at 2-3% I have no problem drinking them all night without really catching a buzz (they taste way better than an NA beer to boot).   

I don't have a hard time with weight and alcohol.   I can basically eat and drink anything and still maintain 6' 180lbs, YMMV.

Maybe consider switching to something lighter and cheaper.

Carrie

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #37 on: April 28, 2014, 02:38:32 PM »
(before pregnancy) I would start the evening with a martini and then have 1-3 glasses of wine.  If I had 1 martini +1 or 2 glasses of wine, I slept fine and was fine the next day. If I had three glasses of wine, I didn't sleep as well and might be a little sluggish the next day.

It's actually been nice to have this pregnancy come along to take a break from the daily drinking (See, I CAN quit, for a good reason), but I will admit to missing cocktails as I've gotten further and further along.  (Had zero interest in wishing for a drink for the first 2/3 of pregnancy.)

When I'm finished being pregnant, I plan to consume no more than 1 cocktail +1 glass of wine or no cocktail and 2 glasses of wine per day.  I'm also going to incorporate more non-drinking days.... it doesn't need to be a daily thing.

creativenikki

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #38 on: April 28, 2014, 02:53:52 PM »
I could have written this post.  My husband and I had basically the same wine drinking habit.  Work sucked and it was so easy to relax with a glass or two of wine before dinner.  I asked myself the same question and for me, it was too much.  I finally realized that I had become an extremely lazy person while sitting around the house, drinking wine and watching television every night.  I wasn't doing things that I enjoyed, spent a lot of money ($12-14 per bottle) and put on a lot of weight.  We finally substituted going to the gym for the wine.  We eat dinner earlier and then go after dinner.  Even though the gym membership isn't totally mustaschean, it's cheaper than the wine and has become a win-win; I drink less wine and exercise more.  We've been going to the gym for about 6 weeks and I feel a lot better since making the switch.  This week my total alcohol consumption was two glasses of wine last Sunday and one glass of wine yesterday. 

It's really hard for me to break bad habits, so it was important to have something to replace the wine/sitting/bitching.  I've tried replacing the wine with sparkling water or another non-alcoholic drink and nothing really stuck.  Personally, I wouldn't switch to the box wine.  For me, it's really easy to refill my glass.  If there's only one bottle in the house, I'm not going to drink more than 1/2 the bottle when I split with my husband.  With the box, it's easy for the 2 1/2 glasses to become more.

I also have similar drinking habits as the OP at times.  For me the problem is that I cannot participate in my hobbies if I have had anything to drink because I feel it can be a safety issue (wine + chemicals + fire = bad).  So, I have cut back on alcohol and increased my jewelry making.  For me a couple glasses of wine doesn't seem to have any impact on how I feel the next day physically so I haven't cut back for physical/health reasons but for "productivity" reasons.  I also had to substitute another activity for the drinks though; sitting around with water after a stressful day just did nothing for me and usually had me just stewing in my juices instead of relaxing. 

Sometimes I will have a glass of wine after a particularly stressful day at work.  I don't really consider that a problem because it stays as one or two glasses.  I've found that some days working on jewelry helps me de-stress, but other times it just doesn't cut it and I cannot focus or just don't have any creative energy left at the end of the day. 

I used to wonder if I drank too much, but I have said I'll stop for a week/month and I've done it.  As I age getting drunk really has no appeal anymore.  A buzz is fun once in awhile, I guess.  Anything more than a couple drinks and I have trouble sleeping so it isn't worth it because I hate feeling unproductive the next day because I'm so tired.  Has anyone else realized that they can no longer sleep in anymore?  For me it doesn't matter when I go to bed I wake up at the same time (6:30 am), so now I don't even want to stay up late, drinking or not!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 02:55:29 PM by creativenikki »

Ozstache

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #39 on: April 28, 2014, 06:08:48 PM »
I guess it depends on if you NEED it.

I like the saying that the more you NEED a drink, the more you really don't.

Emg03063

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #40 on: April 28, 2014, 07:59:51 PM »
Your drinking habits strike me as a tad on the high side, but it's not necessarily a problem.

Q1 depends on your finances and goals.  The best way to hack this, short of fermenting your own, IMO, is here: http://winekick.com/blog/2013/3/30/trader-joes-block-red-shiraz-review
(As long as it doesn't increase your drinking).  $10.99 for a 3L block, and very drinkable (much more so than Charles Shaw).  Also available in Chardonnay.

I don't have anything to add re: q's 2 or 3.

rocklebock

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #41 on: April 28, 2014, 08:04:05 PM »


It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

Interesting perspective. My knee jerk reaction was to get defensive about this, but I will have to give it some thought. I would say my bf and I spend money on craft beer because it's fun to try new beers and compare them, and learn about what goes into making them different. My palate definitely isn't too refined, I drink shitty beer sometimes too and I have a very soft spot for Grain Belt :) but I will have to inspect my motives a little more!

Tasting all the fancy alcohol is definitely fun! I'll bet those people who constantly get new electronic gadgets or go for spa treatments are having fun, too. I don't doubt the enjoyment is sincere, and there's nothing wrong with one or the other, necessarily. But the observation keeps me from being too judge-y about spending on things I think are bullshit. Now if someone's complaining about not being able to pay the bills while buying $100 bottles of single-malt, I might be tempted to judge. And btw, the first time I tasted good scotch, the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Uh-oh. Now I can never go back."

CarDude

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2014, 08:25:40 PM »
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

An excellent point that bears repeating. I'm not sure what the term is (I'm sure there is one) for wine connoisseurs, but it reminds me of how "foodies" seems often nothing more than a polite way of describing folks who like others to know they like to spend money on food.

rocklebock

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #43 on: April 28, 2014, 08:39:42 PM »
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

An excellent point that bears repeating. I'm not sure what the term is (I'm sure there is one) for wine connoisseurs, but it reminds me of how "foodies" seems often nothing more than a polite way of describing folks who like others to know they like to spend money on food.

I was one of them before I found MMM. What can I say, $12 pieces of cheese just seemed like the most reasonable way to spend my extra money. Now I tell my friends I shop at Winco and drink box wine just to see their shocked expressions.

galliver

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2014, 09:48:01 PM »
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

An excellent point that bears repeating. I'm not sure what the term is (I'm sure there is one) for wine connoisseurs, but it reminds me of how "foodies" seems often nothing more than a polite way of describing folks who like others to know they like to spend money on food.

I think the term is "wine connoisseurs" ;) (or "snobs" but that's degrading).  People I know who self-identify as "foodies" tend to cook a lot and like to experiment with new flavors (yes, they sometimes eat out to do this). To each their own hobbies!

dragoncar

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2014, 09:56:01 PM »
It's my observation that a lot of people - and my ex-SO and I use to be among them - spend a lot on nice wine, craft beer, good liquor, etc. as a form of conspicuous consumption that appears more cultured and discerning than spending on glitzy clothes or a ridiculous car.  I have lots of friends who would never think of blowing money on a new SUV, but spend hundreds a month on high-status drinking, and complain that their palates are just too refined to allow them to stop.

An excellent point that bears repeating. I'm not sure what the term is (I'm sure there is one) for wine connoisseurs, but it reminds me of how "foodies" seems often nothing more than a polite way of describing folks who like others to know they like to spend money on food.

I think the term is "wine connoisseurs" ;) (or "snobs" but that's degrading).  People I know who self-identify as "foodies" tend to cook a lot and like to experiment with new flavors (yes, they sometimes eat out to do this). To each their own hobbies!

Winos

puglogic

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2014, 10:14:29 PM »
"Too much" depends on your age,  weight,  gender, your current health/bloodwork,  your budget, how close you are to your financial goals, how many times a year you get sick, the quality of your sleep,  whether it's a habit you couldn't stop even if you wanted to.....you will find a hundred conflicting scientific recommendations on the web, all equally plausible.  In reality, you're the only one who can answer your question.

This spring I discovered that my beloved two-drink-a-night habit was silently just about to kill me, at 50.  At 25, I could drink a longshoreman under the table and then drive myself home.  Rude awakening. 



galliver

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2014, 11:08:41 PM »
Winos

"a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, especially one who is homeless."

Pretty sure that's the opposite :P

Zamboni

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2014, 11:23:15 PM »
If you have to ask . . .

dragoncar

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Re: How much is too much alcohol?
« Reply #49 on: April 28, 2014, 11:59:41 PM »
Winos

"a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, especially one who is homeless."

Pretty sure that's the opposite :P

Sorry, I meant "winies"