Can Red Wine Keep Holiday Rage at Bay?

If you’d like to manage the holidays in the most chill way, skip the cocktails and order the red wine.


Photo by: CarlosAndreSantos ©CarlosAndreSantos

CarlosAndreSantos, CarlosAndreSantos

Holiday gatherings can be fun, but they can also be stressful or lead to feelings of (dare we admit it?) rage: the barbed comment from the family member who knows just how to get under your skin, the targeted slight from your frenemy/work colleague at the annual office party. We know, hold you back.

But if you’d like to manage the moment in the most chill way possible, here’s a tip: Skip the cocktails — no matter how festive they may look — and order the red wine.

Red wine is the alcoholic beverage people say they find most relaxing, according to a new international study of the emotional responses associated with different types of alcohol. According to the study, which was spearheaded by Public Health Wales, published in the journal BMJ Open and examined anonymous survey responses from almost 30,000 alcohol consumers ages 18 to 34 from 21 different countries, 53 percent of respondents associate red wine with feeling relaxed. Fifty percent of respondents said the same of beer. Spirits, though, were the least likely tipple to be associated with chill vibes; only 20 percent of respondents said the hard stuff made them feel relaxed.

In fact, spirits were the alcohol most closely associated with an impulse toward aggression, researchers found. Darn near one-third — 30 percent — of those who drink spirits said they associate it with feelings of aggression, while only a measly 2.5 percent of respondents said the same of red wine. On the other hand, 59 percent of respondents said they also associated rum, gin, vodka and other spirits with a sense of energy and confidence — and 42.5 percent of respondents said hard liquor made them feel sexy.

“People routinely use alcohol in order to alter their moods but this study suggests different drink choices may result in different emotional outcomes,” lead author Kath Ashton said in a news release. “Understanding the relationships between different drinks and their emotional consequences may provide important insights into the prevention of alcohol related harms.”

So when your boss or crazy Uncle Fred offers you a shot at that holiday bash, just say no, no matter how confident or sexy you’re hoping it will make you feel, and chill out with a nice glass of red and keep the rage at bay. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Photo: iStock

Related Links:

Next Up

How to Find Sweet Red Wine

Find out what "sweet" really means when it comes to red wines, and how to find one that fits your palate.

Awesome Ways to Keep Kids Busy During the Holidays

These projects won't make YOU nuts either. Promise.

Holiday Wines You Can Ship (Almost) Anywhere

These domestic wines support local vineyards and are perfect for your holiday meal.

Franzia’s Holiday Collection Includes a Boxed-Wine Inflatable Lawn Decoration

And a coordinating 'colorful holiday ugly sweater' and wine box.

This Is My Favorite Wine to Gift for the Holidays

Open it with the meal or save it for a special occasion.

Red and Green Recipes Are the Ultimate Holiday Table Décor

Give your holiday spread a merry makeover with these recipes.

7 Red and White Christmas Cookies to Deck Your Holiday Table

Because red and green aren’t the only Christmas colors!

No-Lettuce Salads That Keep You Full

You won't find a leaf of lettuce in these hearty and satisfying salads.

How to Keep Kosher on a Budget

Yes, you can stick to dietary standards without breaking the bank — just follow the lead of these kosher chefs.

What's New