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”.
Theories about the impact of white wine range from its high sugar content – it has up to ten times more than red wine – and levels of sulphite, which are added as a preservative. And some believe high levels of pesticides levels in different wines and found they had up to 1,600 times the amount allowed in drinking water. The wine with the highest levels was a white.
e no longer sees it as the tonic she ounce did. “My friends say there’s no warning – I’m fine one moment, then the next, I’m legless”, she says. “Because I can’t remember much afterwards, I spend a lot of time worrying about how I embarrassed myself. The anxiety I feel the next day is unbearable. I have no problems with other drinks, including red wine”.
White wine is supposed to be different from red wine in more ways than colour. More sulphites – used to kill off bacteria and yeast, as well as preserve the wine – are added to white, which has lower natural levels of protective antioxidants. However, Professor Corder, author of the Wine Diet, says this is not enough to explain white wine’s more potent effect on drinkers. “Sulphites won’t affect the rate at which a person gets drink or change their personality”, he says. “I’ve also heard it suggested that it could be down to there being more super in white than red, but there’s nothing to suggest the amount of sugar in a drink will affect behaviour, otherwise people would go crazy after a glass of orange juice, which has far more.”
He says women are just in denial about the amount they drink. “Problems arise as a result of the amount of alcohol being drunk. What they need to do is reappraise those levels”, he explains. “They must also realise that drinking two large glasses a day is probably enough to raise the risk of breast cancer by 50 per cent. I believe the key factor is not specific ingredients, but the fact that women often use white wine to relieve stress. They build up a tolerance, needing more and more of it to achieve the same result.
“They therefore get more drunk and the following day feel worse than ever, which creates negative association with drink that once felt like a crutch. In my opinion, it’s not about the wine itself but the way in which it’s being drunk and the reasons behind that”.
Time to give away those old clothes!
How many times have you opened your wardrobe, determined to get rid of clothes, you definitely haven’t worn for years, only to come up with excuses why the clothes have to stay? When it comes to giving things away, a lot of us could be very sentimental. Recently, I went through the process of trimming down my wardrobe yet again – and got stuck as usual. It happens to all of us all the time. Determinedly, you approach old clothes. They are definitely going, you tell yourself. But wait a minute – isn’t that the dress your beau bought for you on his last trip abroad just before you broke up? And how many ‘good-luck’ dresses do you have? Dresses you met your spouse in, the ones for those successful job interviews and the ones you convince yourself always make good things happen whenever you put them on! Could you afford to pass the luck they bring on to someone else?
Then there are dresses that are a size or two smaller. What a waste of good designer clothes that cost a fortune! Supposing, just supposing you could slim back into such clothes! You were that size once, who says you couldn’t be that size again? But if you slimmed down what would happen to your other new clothes? Decisions, decisions! Whilst you’re making them, the clothes gather more dust.
Thankfully, there are clothes you have to throw away no matter how expensive. Chain store dresses bought for you by a cheap-skate ex but which you painstakingly wore to please him. Now that he’s thankfully out of the picture you happily give such clothes to say some younger relatives or any of the charitable organisations. Better still, why don’t you see how they look on the maid?
Come to think of it, everyone of us has this superstitious belief that certain clothes are nothing but bad luck. We swear that whenever we put such clothes on, something disastrous always happens – so who do you give such clothes to? Your worst enemy? A friend who’s always been lucky with her man and who you secretly wish has just one tale of woe to tell? Whichever way you look at it, clothes, like photographs, always play interesting parts in your life.