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.
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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.