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

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