Women and Wine

In today’s society, women and wine go hand in hand. Pictures on social media of women drinking wine are in abundance. Recently, painting classes where participants can paint on canvases while sipping on their favorite wine has become a fad. Women plan weekend trips to wineries for wine tastings. Elite Daily states that there are only two types of women: white wine women and red wine women. Drinking wine is seen as a form of stress relief; a glass after a hard day’s work. But does the prevalence and marketing of wine and women together suggest a larger problem?

According to Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink, women have started to view wine “like dark chocolate.” Wine is seen as a healthy boost or a treat after working hard all day. But Johnston states that this thinking has led to the increase in alcoholism in women. Johnston also reports that while men drink in social settings, women “uncork the bottle at home” and drink alone to “self-medicate.” When a woman pours a glass of wine at home after work, it is not often seen as alcoholism or binge drinking. It is socially acceptable and often encouraged.

While I do not believe that every woman who drinks wine is an alcoholic or a binge drinker, I agree with Johnston’s point of view. I do not seek to pathologize normal behavior; however, I feel bombarded with images and messages about women and wine. I see Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram pictures of glasses of wine with captions like, “Another bottle down.” Media has romanticized excessive drinking into something socially acceptable. We all need to recognize that some women who drink wine would meet criteria for binge drinking. Drinking wine may be a coping mechanism for depression, anxiety, or grief. Abstinence is not necessarily the answer, but I believe that we need to further explore the relationship women have with wine. Clarifying between healthy amounts of wine and binge drinking may help women know when drinking has become a problem. Women deserve to relax after a long day, but they also deserve to know the truth about wine and health.

- Written by Amanda Lappin

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