Oh, the joy of good food – flicking through the latest issue of express is enough to make your mouth water! Our society tells us that an essential element of quality cuisine is an accompanying matched wine.
We have full bodied reds to go with the red meaty dishes and a lighter spicy white to go with chicken, finishing the meal with a sweet dessert wine, and the evening with port or equivalent.
Sounds fantastic and decadent – but what happens to the rest of the bottle?
The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC) has recently revised their low risk drinking advice. On their website (www.alac.org.nz) they write:
Reduce your long-term health risks by drinking no more than:
Two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week
Three standard drinks a day for men and no more than 15 standard drinks a week
AND at least two alcohol-free days every week.
Reduce your risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking by drinking no more than:
Four standard drinks for women on any single occasion
Five standard drinks for men on any single occasion
Advice for pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant:
There is no known safe level of alcohol use at any stage of pregnancy.
(Please note: The above advice DOES NOT relate to driving.)
So – how much is a standard drink?
A standard drink is 10 grams of alcohol. As the alcohol content of alcoholic drinks differs widely, the amount that makes up a standard drink also differs widely. The good news is that all alcoholic beverages are required to have the number of standard drinks on the container (the bottle, cask, etc).
In general a standard drink is:
100 mls of wine (so there are usually about 7.5 standard drinks in a bottle of wine)
300 mls of beer (so a regular 5%, 330 ml bottle of beer is 1.3 standard drinks)
30 mls of spirits (a nip)
The low risk advice is based on international evidence. We make a choice about how much we drink and our choices will be based on a number of factors. I would like to invite you to include the above advice as one of those factors.
| Diana Rands
If you have concerns about your own or someone else’s alcohol or other drug use, or if you’d like more information, contact CADS on 09 845 1818. You can also visit www.cads.org.nz or, if you live outside Auckland, contact the Alcohol and Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.