Let’s face it. Many of us live in Bangkok one of the world’s great party towns. This label is due to the high number of tourists wanting to relax with a drink in Thailand but also due to the high domestic consumption rate of whiskey that permeates Thai society.
Although the consumption of wine versus the entire consumption of alcoholic beverages ranks as only .4 per cent, my hunch is that it would be somewhat higher if the Bangkok wine consumption rate could be isolated from the rest of the country.
I have attended many wine dinners in my Bangkok career with five to six items on the menu and four or five wines to accompany each menu item, with refills no problem at all. I have left these Bacchanalian affairs on wobbly legs to face writing a story on the dinner for tomorrow’s edition. This is not a happy chore to anticipate.
From these experiences, I have developed a few guidelines to help me have a more pleasant wine experience.
The first point is to understand wine’s little secret. That secret is that wine naturally contains esters that are chemical phenomena that delay the entry of alcohol into the blood system. Please note that, beverages such as beer, sparkling wines and whiskey with soda, speed up the entry of alcohol into the system. The old saying: “Wine is fine but liquor is quicker,” is a good guideline to follow.
If a sparkling wine or Champagne is offered at the beginning of a meal, I suggest that only one glass should be sipped as more can end one in a giddy state before starting the meal.
However, if one drinks many glasses of wine, one’s body, including the precious liver (all we have is one) will take a beating. Generally, when I am at home eating my evening meal, two glasses of wine are sufficient to course through the meal and enjoy all the flavours. I also drink water during a meal as alcohol absorbs water inside the body and the additional water replenishes that absorption and seems to dilute the alcohol’s effect.
Many people drink coffee to combat the effects of alcohol, but the medical experts say caffeine has no effect on reducing alcohol but is simply an alcohol-free beverage that allows the body time to catch up to the digestion of alcohol within the body.
I also use two supplements that protect the liver. The first is silymarin an anti-oxidant that protects the liver and the second is N-Acetyl-Cysteine that also supports the liver. Both of these supplements can be mail ordered from abroad but silymarin is also available here.
Drinking wine slowly with a dish that seems to compliment the wine (or vice-versa) is one of life’s great moments. Hopefully these memories can be recalled without the memory failure because of too much alcohol consumption.
[Article by David Swartzentruber]