I have been listening to reports about research on recommended weekly amounts of alcohol. Dr Melanie Nichols of Oxford University, the lead author of a recently published paper, said: "Over 4,000 deaths from cancer, heart disease, stroke and liver disease in England could be prevented if drinkers reduced their average level of alcohol consumption to half a unit per person per day - a level much lower than current UK government recommendations.” She went on to say that a half unit of alcohol would be just a quarter of a glass of wine, or a quarter of a pint of beer. These days a unit of alcohol corresponds to half a glass of wine – or a glass and a half of wine per week.
And here I am busily making wine with every possible ingredient I can lay my hands on. Right now I have 18 bottles maturing and fourteen gallons still fermenting. Oh dear. What shall I do? Should I empty it all down the jacks?
But, to look on the bright side, if we adhere to these new guidelines, the present amount of alcohol being processed should last Nellybert a number of years. I have done the math. There are 5 glasses in a bottle and 6 bottles to the gallon. Multiply that by 17 and that comes to 510 gallons. We would be drinking three glasses between us every week and at that level of consumption the wine will last us three years and three months.
I comfort myself with the thought that when the statistics are examined more closely those 4000 + extra deaths per year translates into a probability of the drinking classes living about a fortnight less than the abstainers. It being late, and me on the wine, I cannot be bothered to research this thoroughly but, if any reader is interested, the views of statistician David Spiegelhalter are worth a moment or two of your time.
Now as well as making wine Nellybert has also a freezer full of home-grown pig and I'm sorry to say that eminent researchers in Harvard have shown that those of us who eat red meat more than three times a week are also shortening life expectancy, so if you are partial to a bacon sandwich and a glass of wine you're probably going to live around six weeks less than an abstemious vegetarian. Well worth it in my opinion. Slainte! Bon appetit!