Medical miracle

23 August, 2007

In the early 1990s most of us thought a 75cl bottle of wine was six units, not, as Tim Atkin now tells us, a more precisely calculated 10-15.

During an annual medical check-up in around 1993 the

doctor asked me what my average consumption of alcohol was a week.

I readily admitted to one bottle of wine a day, or 42 units a week. "Impossible," he said. "You would be dead." I remonstrated with him as it was in my interests to tell him the truth because I was paying for the check-up. But he utterly refused to accept my answer and wrote down 30 units.

So, what would he have said if I had answered, "Somewhere between 70 and 105 units"? The mind shudders.

Perhaps he would have died of shock.

Jeremy Watson




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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