With the holiday season approaching, we can anticipate parties, dinners, and alcohol consumption. When I go to holiday parties I like to bring a gift; dessert, an appetizer, or a bottle of wine. While I can pinpoint with some certainty the kinds of wines that I like, up until recently it was a mystery to me why I was drawn to the wines that I enjoy. In today’s episode, I get the chance to talk to two experts about why women are drawn to the wines that they are, how wine affects women’s bodies, and I learn some great tips for wine consumption and etiquette!
In this episode I speak with Dr. Jan Werbinski and Ali Hill. Jan is the medical director of the YWCA medical program in Kalamazo, as well as the director of the Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative. She is a board certified obgyn and was the medical director of Borgess Women’s Health, a women’s health center in Kalamazo. Ali Hill is a wine representative in Albuquerque who is currently studying to be a sommelier. I speak with Jan and Ali about the health benefits and risks of drinking wine, what wine consumption means for women and differences between the sexes, and how both women handle working around a topic, alcohol, that is dominated by men.
What You’ll Discover in This Episode
- Tips for drinking wine in a healthy way
- What kinds of wines to pair with meals- a great tip for figuring out what to bring to a holiday party!
More About Jan and Ali
For Dr. Jan Werbinski, women’s relationship with wine is a microcosm for the way the medicine often overlooks the significance of biological differences between the sexes. Historically, when cognitive impairment has been studied, the experimental subjects have been men. This means that the possibility of drugs effecting women and men differently is neglected, which can lead to potentially harmful situations. In the case of alcohol consumption, women become “impaired earlier than men” and develop “damage to their vital organs sooner with smaller amounts of alcohol.” Jan explains that this newly realized information is a a step forward for women and research. With these new discoveries, bills are being passed to “try to fix that gap in our knowledge” by mandating a separation in studies for women and men.
For Ali Hill, understanding the way women drink wine is a part of her profession. As a wine representative and sommelier student, Ali understands biologically why women are drawn to certain types of wine, how different wines effect women versus men, and how you can choose the right wine to pair with a particular meal. She explains, “in my business we talk about the feminine palate. Women can pick up on flavors that men cannot.” With more sensitivity to taste, it makes sense that women tend to choose wine as their alcohol of choice than do men.
While women are more inclined to drink wine than are men, the wine industry is actually dominated by men. For Ali, this means understanding how to work with both male and female costumers and sellers. Ultimately, she finds that gender and wine are not so important as a wine seller, as “its’ not what I like or what the buyer likes, we’re looking for what the consumer wants.”
Check Out the Links Mentioned in This Episode!