Save That Wine to Toast a Happy, Healthy Baby

Lance Armstrong turns 41 today. Frankie Avalon is celebrating his 73rd birthday, and so is Fred Willard. James Gandolfini would have been 52 today.

And my darling daughter turns… well, it’s really not for me to say. I don’t think she’d mind, however, acknowledging the “thirty-something” designation.

Why am I writing about my daughter in a wine blog? Because she is a happy and healthy thirty-something, and that might not be the case had her mother, back in the day, taken the results of a study reported in this story to heart.

I first heard about this report in late June, but it has circulated a few more times in Cyberspace since. And I’m happy to report that, in each case, it has been met by a loud chorus of, “Are you kiddings?”

We get inquiries occasionally about the health benefits associated with the moderate consumption of wine. Normally, we cite studies that have validity based on who conducted them and how they were undertaken. We certainly don’t claim to be experts and, let’s be clear: Everybody is different.

But a study indicating that the moderate consumption of alcohol by a woman while pregnant may be okay? I wouldn’t touch that one with a 10-foot pole.

Like most parents, I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter when I read that report.

My daughter… who learned how to use a corkscrew when she was 6.

My daughter… who helped me host countless wine-tasting events while she was growing up.

My daughter… who, despite constant exposure to wine, never developed the wine bug. To this day, on those rare occasions when I can get this thirty-something woman to stick her nose deep into a wine glass, she still says what she used to say when she was 6… 16… 26: “Smells winey.”

And that’s okay. Some people never discover the wonders of wine. Some come around to it later than others. Fact is, I saw a half-empty bottle of Moscato in her refrigerator the last time I visited. So, there’s still hope.

But would she be around today… and in such good health… had her mother consumed alcohol while carrying her? The answer to that question, according to this controversial study, appears to be: maybe.

But as an English teacher once told me, the definition of “maybe” is “maybe not.”

Seriously, is that a chance worth taking? In my world—a world in which wine plays an undeniably huge role—the answer is absolutely not.

A much better idea would be to save that wine for a post-birth toast to a happy, healthy baby.

Posted in Editor's Journal
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