Recent study results suggest "the blood-pressure-lowering effects of red wine are attributable not to its alcohol content, but to the beneficial chemicals called polyphenols that it contains, even in its nonalcoholic form," according to a New York Times summary of the findings.
In other words, it's not necessarily the alcohol that's making you healthier.
Which brings us to a fascinating topic: nonalcoholic wine.
I think I've had it once, and I'm 98 percent sure it came from a box. Interestingly enough, I rarely see nonalcoholic beer and wine offered as options at parties. It's much more common for hostesses to follow Dawn's advice and serve sparkling water.
I've significantly cut back on my drinking in the past two years, so I'm very familiar with nonalcoholic beverage options.
I know a glass of club soda generally attracts at least one inquiry about why you're not drinking tonight, as well as a (half-kidding) wisecrack about being pregnant. So in some respects, it might be easier to hold a beverage resembling alcohol.
Then again, I'm not particularly fond of the taste of beer or wine. I drink it in hopes of mellowing out just enough to endure the inevitable work talk. Without the promise of a buzz factor, it's hard to get excited about the taste.