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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Tuesday, August 07 2008. 18:20

Wine drinking and driving Speed

I had gone to the Polo Lounge at the Hyatt day before yesterday,  to meet a bunch of guys from New York who had been in touch with me and were in Delhi for a couple of days. It had suddenly poured causing a big traffic jam which saw a young under- wine- drinking age girl nick my car and a long delay in arriving at the meeting.

The young man I met was an amazing fellow. The Russian born Gary Vaynerchuk migrated to the US with his father who opened a store in 1983 under the name of Shoppers Discount Liquors in New Jersey. He has helped take the business to new heights and made it a $60 million a year business- half of which is through the on-line store he started. Gary runs the 'Wine Library' and also hosts his own TV show on the web at

More on him in another article. But while talking I had to order a glass of wine. What was available in white? I asked the waiter ' Sauvignon Blanc from Casa Lapostolle' was a fair choice. But which vintage? 2005. What?

At which point all of us winced. 2005 should already be over the top for this unoaked, simple but pleasant wine. Having not much of a choice and time, I ordered a quick glass.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a 2006 when he brought the bottle to show me-good enough vintage. Sipping the crispy and juicy wine while sharing my thoughts on wine scene in India with Gary and his band of followers, one did not realise when another glass had been poured. Within the short span of less than 30 minutes, two glasses were down the gullet.

While driving back, I realised the folly in my usual statement, 'wine is not alcohol.' At several wine dinners, one imbibes .8 to a bottle during the course of a 5-course meal  and there has been no problem in driving afterwards. But today, it was not the alcohol level but its directly hitting the blood stream that had caused the havoc and I seemed to have fallen short of my dictum,' always sip wine slowly'.

It was dangerous driving to say the least- an irresponsible act I won't like to repeat and hope any of you don't ever have to either.

The speed at which you drink wine or any other alcohol is important. What is the speed at which one should drink and then drive safely? There is no scientific evidence or studies  that  has come across from experts I have asked. But discussing with several doctors in the health conventions in the USA, I usually find a consensus that one glass of standard unit per hour with food is a safe bet. This means during a normal course of 3-4 hours 3-4 glasses with food are ok. Of course, it also depends upon the individual metabolism.

But it is important to realise that the speed at which you drink does matter in getting intoxicated. Let's not forget that wine does have alcohol; and this day the fact came into play, it did!

So next time you have wine and drive immediately after words, I wish you a Happy Drinking and safe driving!


Tasting Notes

Sauvignon Blanc 2006 Casa Lapostolle

Straw yellow colour, light body, quite aromatic wine is so fruity, juicy and crisp that it makes me salivate just thinking about it. The harmonious wine had a great mouth-feel and ripe flavours with a citrus touch. As expected the after-taste is rather short.  A great pick-me up wine at anytime, that is at peak now and one hopes Hyatt does not have it in stock after 6-9 months.



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