Wine Health : Confessions of a Wine Drinking Alcoholic

Moderate wine drinking has proven medical benefits according to several studies. But going beyond limits can have dangerous consequences and one can succumb to alcoholism as a wine writer Alice King, author of High Sobriety: Confessions of a Drinker admits in this article written by her in the Daily Mail.

During my passionate dialogues at the wine tasting sessions, I often tell people the medical benefits of regular drinking a couple of glasses of wine. Occasionally, all of us slip up happily but to make a routine of excessive drinking could be unhealthy. 'After all, how many people stop at two glasses?' I am asked rhetorically. The consequences can be dangerous. Nothing could make it more obvious than the book authored by an English wine writer- turned alcoholic Alice King who has luckily survived the addiction to write a book on the potential probem.

As a professional and successful wine writer, Alice King had a dream job. The daughter of a wine salesman and blessed with a superb palate, Alice had always been surrounded by alcohol. But the more she got into her job, the more she found herself drinking.

A hugely successful wine expert, author and columnist, with a beautiful country home and three healthy sons, Alice King, 46, seemed to have it all - until her drinking took her to depths she could never have imagined. In her new book High Sobriety, she gives a brutally honest and moving account of her descent into alcoholism, and eventual recovery.

'As I grew up, it became clear I had a talent for tasting wine. After taking a course in journalism, I got a job as an editorial assistant on Decanter. I quickly rose through the ranks and by the age of 22 had become deputy editor. My inexperience didn't faze me. I was determined to taste as many wines as possible, and simply couldn't pull the corks fast enough.'

When she got married to a man in the wine trade she 'packed two cases of champagne with my trousseau.'

'Settling into married life, not a day passed without us sharing a bottle or two over supper. It was perfectly normal to talk, write, taste and drink wine all day at work, then come home and carry on,' she writes.

She worked hard and began to travel extensively and started enjoying the life of a cosseted journalist, treated to the best of everything - first-class tickets, the best wines, restaurants and hotels.

She got so addicted to drinking that, after going to one particularly drunken party without her husband Niall, 'I woke to find myself naked in bed in a stranger's spare bedroom. Shocked, it took me quite some time to work out where I was and how I'd got there.'

Her downfall continued till she was divorced, sold the house, lost the custody of the kids, had several affairs and sought the help of AAA and was able to stop drinking wine and other liquors totally.

The book can scare you with the truths and makes you feel sorry for her. But it can also be a warning to wine (and other liquor0 drinkers to watch out for the pitfalls. It has not yet been released but can be reserved with for £9.34. Her account can be read on the Daily Mail.

Subhash Arora




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