Drink Less - Drink Better

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I subscribe to Wine Journalist Tim Atkin, and received an email this morning with title "Drink Less, Drink Better". This transported me back to the mid-noughties when I worked as an ambassador for Penfolds Premium Wines in London. This phrase was our mantra for encouraging people to think about drinking less in volume but better in quality a position that pleased the health lobby as alcohol started to cause social & health problems.

In the 80s and 90s, the UK saw unprecedented growth in wine sales volumes, with wine becoming an everyday drink option for the mass market. However, most of this growth was at entry-level, not premium levels. In the off-trade (venues where alcohol is sold for consumption OFF the premises), supermarkets used wine as a loss-leader to drive people to their stores with discounts like "3 for £10" and "BOGOF" (buy one, get one free) offers. Remember them?!

So back to the noughties, where I was working for an Australian wine producer (Southcorp Wines) as an ambassador, mainly for the Penfolds brand in the on-trade (venues licensed to sell alcohol ON the premises). In an on-trade environment, clubs and bars were happy to drive low-quality levels because low-quality wines don't deliver a lot of flavour and keep customers constantly reaching for their glasses, ordering more at the bar, and keeping the tills ringing.

Penfolds: the ageworthy cuvée to rival the Old World classics - The Drinks  Business

As a premium brand, we wanted to encourage people to explore premium wines! And so, "Drink Less, Drink Better" was born.

Our message was simple: drinking better quality wine with complexity, structure, and body to hold flavours means we're not constantly reaching for our glasses, as we savour the flavours of quality wine and slow down our drinking.

This leads me to the 'Dry January Challenge' which I am sure was a discussion point in most houses after this time of indulgence! I love and enjoy wine, but I don't find it hard to go without it 2-3 days a week. And this is backed up by The British Liver Trust  too. They say its better to avoid alcohol a few days every week, all year, than have one booze-free month a year - and even better if those 2-3 days a week are next to each other. This seems a preferable and more sustainable approach in my view, than the over-prescribed dry January, which many preach but don't manage to attain. Often a dry January can become a sopping wet February which doesn't do anyone any favours! 

So Drink Less, Drink Better. After all, life is too short to drink rubbish wine!

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