A place for wine in wellness?
Nurturing our physical and mental well-being has been a major trend of the 21st century. The list of health-conscious practices – meditation, reduced meat consumption, regular exercise – continues to grow in size and sophistication. Chief among them is the movement towards less (or even no) alcohol consumption. As advocates for both a healthy lifestyle, and the enjoyment of life’s pleasures, we often ask ourselves the question: how compatible is wine with wellness?
Retracing historical benefits
Wine has an historical place in our civilization. Not only has it accompanied society through wars, religious ceremonies, and celebrations, it also holds the distinction of being humanity’s oldest medicinal remedy. In past centuries, when death from infection was very common, wine was used as an antiseptic. Thankfully, modern medicine has replaced the ancient prescription of “wine and leeches”, and yet still red wine (and its antioxidants) is sometimes lauded as an aid against cardiovascular disease.
With more information on the adverse effects of alcohol at our fingertips, European wine consumption has been falling since the 1980s, estimated today at 24 litres per capita per annum (vs. 44 litres at peak in 1980). This trend shows a consumer movement in favour of premium wines, wherein people are willing to spend more money on less volume.
Quality over quantity
The growing preference for investing in higher-quality wines suggests that consumers seek the experience of wine – its style, characteristics, and expression of terroir – rather than its ABV (Alcohol By Volume). More and more, fine wine is a symbol of culture, of appreciation for craftsmanship, heritage, and for the unique stories behind each bottle.
Additionally, the rise of interest in organic and biodynamic wines is testament to the conscientiousness of today’s drinkers. Young wine lovers demand that the creation of these precious bottles be as respectful as possible to our planet, promoting biodiversity and reducing the carbon footprint of wine production.
While the place for alcohol in our hectic lives is (happily) much reduced compared to a few decades ago, we believe that the space for feeding the soul with such an activity as savouring a fine wine – one of humanity’s great treasures – will only grow with time. This concept we like to call mindful consumption focuses on the enjoyment of wine within the context of social interaction and individual thought – crucial counterparts to the “AI society”.
It also advocates for slowing life down, as an antidote to the culture of instant gratification. Taking the time to pause, reflect, and to be grateful for the authentic gifts of nature is a crucial skill for future generations. True appreciation of fine wine reminds us to exercise patience. It rejects impulsive indulgences in favour of a deep connection to the earth, to one’s self, and to humanity – the very definition of wellness.