VANGUARD Sunday, August 13, 2023
It was an exclusive 50th birthday party that boasted the best foods on the menu down to exotic canapé and choice wine and champagne. However, by the time desert was served, Veronica, 36, had changed from the polite, friendly lady who had initially charmed other guests, into an insulting and aggressive loud mouth. The reason? After guzzling a few glasses of Chablis, Veronica, a beautician, who runs an impressive salon insists she wasn’t drunk – but instead, had suffered a bad physical reaction to white wine. And like a growing band of women, she has sworn off it ever since.
She said: “My recollection of the night are very hazy, thank God, because I cringe from head to toe whenever I think about it. My partner filled me in the following day, telling me I’d been rude about the views and opinions of the other guests, shouting them down and insisting mine was the only take on any given subject worth listening to. When his friends tried to chat, I was so argumentative they backed off and went to find someone more reasonable to speak to.
“Towards the end of the night, when it began to dawn on me that I’d offended all my partner’s friends, I started slobbering over them, trying to apologise. I couldn’t bear the shame of facing these people again and my partner no doubt dreaded a repeat performance. It was inevitable we broke up shortly after”.
Veronica, who’d drunk no more than three glasses of wine was adamant it was the type of alcohol that was to blame rather than the amount she imbibed. She’s not alone. It seems so many women believe white wine has a Jekyll-and-Hyde effect – turning them into argumentative and aggressive shrews even when they’ve not drunk to excess – that professionals working in the field are wondering if there might be something in white wine that does have an effect.
Sarah Turner, an addiction counsellor who offers cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling to women who believe they have a problem with drinking, has worked with hundreds of middle-class professionals. She says about a quarter claim to behave badly after small amounts of white wine, “clients tell me they get so aggressive after drinking it they have done things they wouldn’t otherwise dream of doing”, she says. “Smashing furniture, breaking windows, even driving off in a rage. I’ve even wondered if white wine could somehow be raising testosterone levels in women as the effect can be so dramatic”.