Women and Wine – a Complicated Relationship?

By | February 9, 2015


women and wineEver wondered what the ladies have with wine, more than with any other (alcoholic) drink? I know I did and I went on to find information about this delicate subject. To start off with a nice one: it is said that there is a special relationship between women and wine. Just like I thought! Some others even say that it is one of the most sacred, functional relationships known to man. This may be going a little bit far, but the next story will explain the complicated relationship between women and wine.

What it means to women

Wine means different things to different women. It may make them feel beautiful, or be what helps them calm down or open up or connect with peers. Often women’s emotional connection to wine is benign and positive. And whereas no one would hesitate to declare that someone, who was kicking back glasses of vodka on the rocks every night, could have a problem, if you would drink wine it seems more harmless and is unquestionably more socially acceptable.

Here is a bit of a controversial one. Over the last decade many female writers have discussed the way alcohol — and wine in particular — has become a way for women to get through the day, especially when that day includes an increasing number of tasks and roles and the pressure to complete them all with a smile on your face.


“Whether the effect is physiological or psychological, a glass of wine calms me: Okay, I can handle this if I just have a drink first,” wrote Laurie Abraham in an essay excerpted by Elle in 2006. “A drink is the modern (time-worn) ‘mother’s little helper’: our generation’s answer to Valium.” And the head of the women’s addiction program at Toronto’s University Health Network told The Daily Beast in October 2013 that the one common thread she sees among the professional women who enter her program is “perfectionism” an its corresponding stresses.

Recent marketing

Wine companies have exploited this truth and begun crafting marketing campaigns that explicitly address the stresses that working mothers feel. In 2012 the New York Times reported that wine brand Chateau Ste. Michelle introduced an ad campaign targeting women, which included the slogan: “It’s where you become you again — not mother, not colleague, not chauffeur, cook or clean up lady.”

Nowadays there is the temptation to self-medicate and not just among mothers, but also among unmarried, 20-something working women (and men). A sentiment often heard is that women drink more now than they did in college. At least more frequently, if not more quantity-wise. Often this drinking is used as a way to cope with post-education uncertainties — at work and in their love lives.

Red or white wine

All women love wine; they are certainly united on this front, but the difference is in the preference. Are you a red wine or a white wine drinker? It seems that most women prefer either one or the other. You’ll definitely hear “I only drink white” or “I only drink red.” If their favourite white or red wine might not be available, they would still prefer to drink a wine of the other colour, rather than having no wine at all.

Red wine

Why is it that nowadays a lot of women drink only reds? Even when the health benefits, such as a longer life, less fatwomen and wine and cholesterol, stronger libido are heavily contested? This is because in the thinking of popular culture, red wine is associated with assertive and action-oriented compared to white wine, which is said to offer a prissy, indecisive connotation. Just wonder where they got that one? As assertive professional women operating often in the surroundings of men, the characters must drink red. They are permitted to be vulnerable, but they can’t betray themselves to the audience as a white-wine-lover. I wonder how many of you recognize yourselves in this picture. Maybe this is more US oriented than elsewhere in the world? Should we believe that there are women that drink red wine because it makes them look stronger and not because it tastes better than white wine?

White wine

The love affair of women and white wine is a natural one and has been going on since wine and/or human beings women and white winewere invented. The reason is simple, it just tastes so good! It’s neutral enough that it goes with anything you might be eating, and if not, time to change what you’re eating. It doesn’t give you the lingering heavy, bloated feeling that beer does, or the hangover that Champagne does, or the blues that straight liquor (occasionally) does. It also does not give you the splitting headaches that you might get from consuming too much red wine. You’d have to drink a large quantity of white wine before you start feeling sad or fat, and it doesn’t get you hammered immediately like one liquor-based drink sometimes does. Find access to some excellent Chardonnay wines plus reviews by clicking each of the three images to the right hand side (for mobile users just under this text after evaluation).


Today they are more and more female wine farmers, vineyard workers, wine merchants, sommeliers, wine enthusiasts and wine tasters. Ever more women develop a passion for the art of producing and tasting wine. The activity of women in this sector is no longer determined solely by their family background.

Women know better how to name their feelings and are particularly sensitive to odours, which are part of their daily lives. They are spontaneous; they consider wine as an object and feel temptation to buy a wine as an emotional experience and a pleasure. This might give them an advantage over men.

I think that in the end a woman will go with her own specific tastes and will by instinct choose the wine that fits her personality best.

I would welcome any input from your side on this maybe controversial topic or maybe you want to add? Please feel free to leave a comment.

4 thoughts on “Women and Wine – a Complicated Relationship?

  1. Laura

    Calculating or strategic? 🙂

    I used to drink white wines exclusively but now I’m more open to drinking reds now and then. I particularly like Pinot Noir as it seems to be a lighter red.

    1. Jerry Post author

      Hi Laura, I drink white and red wines as well. For whites I have a strong preference for Chardonnays and for reds I have tasted some excellent Pinot Noirs and Shiraz’s. I used to drink more of the lighter red wines like Beaujolais and Rhone wines from France and if I could get them, reds from Baden-Baden area, Germany. Which whites are your favourites? Cheers, Jerry

  2. Martin Van Der Klooster

    Great research Jerry, interesting to read! One thing crossed my mind while reading your article; you were talking about alcohol becoming a way for women to get through the day. I was wondering what happened to the sherry diet, I haven’t heard of this for a long time!

    Just a small critical note, you put that women are spontaneous. I myself think they are quite calculating!

    1. Jerry Post author

      Hi Martin, the Sherry diet was popular in Holland in the 70’s/80’s, when it was claimed that our then queen Juliana also followed it with some success. This was never confirmed. The downside was that people drank 3-6 glasses of sherry a day, which affected their health. Some even became alcohol addicted!
      Subsequently it lost its attraction and hence popularity.
      Maybe white wine drinking ladies are more spontaneous and red wine drinkers more calculating?


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