The Holidays are over, and the kids have been sent back to school. And by “sent,” I mean, “pumped with anti-virals to keep them from getting killed.” Though that’s Job #1 for all parents (Job #2 being fully restocking the wine fridge), never before has the job felt so immediate and overwhelming. So is that why I’m feeling so anxious, or is it something else entirely? And if so, is wine good for anxiety?
Spoiler Alert: it’s not something else entirely. The situation with COVID-19 is universally known and acknowledged to be completely messed up. It’s enough to make even the Buddha pop Xanax and binge-watch Headspace videos on his iPhone. I won’t get into all the external forces at play here – you know them already, and listening to another trip to my soapbox is probably not what you had in mind when you indulged my clickbait.
yes, Wine Is Good For Anxiety
Alcohol changes body chemistry in a way that temporarily increases serotonin, giving you a feeling of euphoria that helps eliminate anxiety. But there’s another issue at play here. Two issues, as a matter of fact.
It’s called Bottle Shock
The first issue that concerns me are the internal forces – specifically, the things that are keeping us inside. COVID-19 is certainly one of those, if not the major one. But here in northern California, we just got past wildfire season, which forced people to stay inside even when they can socially distance themselves safely outside. For a time, Iwas inside all day. And so were the kids. I also work from home. And the kids went to school from home. And food is delivered to home.
In a word (or two), we’re bottled up. And as such, we’re suffering from Bottle Shock.
Bottle Shock is a nasty condition that happens to wine after it has been bottled. Wikipedia defines it as follows: Bottle-shock or Bottle-sickness is a temporary condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors. It often occurs immediately after bottling or when wines are given an additional dose of sulfur.
Muted. Disjointed. Fragmented, with a lingering bitterness. Yep, that’s me. In the latest episode of the podcast, I look at the connection between the anxiety we’re feeling now – especially with kids going back to school – and the phenomenon of Bottle Shock. Is there a happy ending to all this? Will our juice finally mellow out and be approachable?
In other words, are we going to age well?
Issue #2: No, wine is Actually not good for anxiety
Why? Because the serotonin surge from wine is only temporary. Then, like all good things, the serotonin levels drop below what they were earlier and boom, you’re worse off than you were before. Anxiety levels rise. And the cycle starts all over again.
Participants in a recent study reported consuming alcohol on an average of 12.2 days and 26.8 alcohol drinks during the 30-day peak of the pandemic. Over a third (34.1%) reported engaging in binge drinking and seven percent reported engaging in extreme binge drinking.
Adulting is hard: don’t sweat it
You know what? I say pour that glass. Be responsible, but pour that glass. We need to get through this, and if an extra glass of Pinot Noir does the trick, then let the magic happen. At Tous Les Jours Wine, we know that an extra glass may break the household finances (when poured nightly), which is why we offer our wine exclusively online: not only is it delivered to your doorstep, but by cutting out the middleman, we can put more money into the quality of the wine and still keep the cost at $15. That’s why Tasting Panel Magazine awarded our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 90 Points.
Give ’em a try! And hang in there – this too shall pass.
Hi John, I’m very excited about the release of Pairs With: Life and looking forward to reading it. (Yes, I pre-ordered.) I remember thinking it was very brave of you to announce that you were going to write a book (whereas I snuck around doing it and only told people after completing a first draft.) You had asked about reading it, but I wasn’t quite ready at the time. I’ve been revising it and posting chapters on my blog if you are still interested. Use the “Check out my Boozy Lifestyle book” link to start at the beginning. Like you, I’m also a musician and the because of the similarities of our creative pursuits, I found the completion of your book project very inspirational. I know what I’ll be reading on Sept. 15th. Julia
Hey Julia! I’m flattered and grateful that I could be any kind of inspiration to your process! Thanks so much. I would love to read your chapters and I’ll start checking them out tonight. Congratulations on seeing it though and getting to this point. It’s never easy and requires a lot of time and energy. Looking forward to checking it out!