‘We look at red wine like it’s dark chocolate’ — New Book Examines Women and Alcohol

Anne Dowsett Johnston is the author of a new book entitled Drink that explores the relationship between women and alcohol. In a recent interview, Johnston said, “‘We look at red wine like it’s dark chocolate, … We know the downsides of the tanning bed and trans fats, but not the downside of our favorite drug.’

Johnston, 60, herself in recovery, is experienced in both journalism and academics and brings both those skills to bear on her contention that women are increasingly being drawn into addiction.

Unlike men, Johnston claims, who tend to drink most in social settings, women more often ‘uncork the bottle at home,’ says Ms Johnston, in order to self-medicate their anxiety and depression.

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  1. Josie11 on November 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I read this part and it really made me confused. I’m struggling to stick to my decision for abstinence, but this comment made me feel like I would be missin gout and should consider moderation instead.

    “She urges a national conversation on what moderate drinking is.

    ‘Alcohol is not the demon here,” she said. “It’s a wonderful substance if enjoyed in moderation.'”

    • Craig W on November 15, 2013 at 11:09 am


      Yes, that’s the trouble with articles and books like the one the post refers to — it seems to open a door that most of us think should remain closed and locked. But the idea of “moderation” is hard to kill — it floats around the culture as an alternative. Perhaps it’s wrong to discuss the issue on this website because of the danger you describe. On the other hand, we all need to know what others are thinking, even dangerous ideas.

      — Craig Whalley

  2. Dick Sprague on November 12, 2013 at 10:30 am

    This is a very readable work by an investigative reporter. Ann Dowsett Johnston researched the topic thoroughly, interviewed researchers with differing points of view, and presents her findings in logical and understandable prose. While she speaks eloquently for women whose drug of choice is alcohol, many of her insights are directly applicable to men with the same addiction.
    I highly recommend this book, which is available on Amazon as both Kindle and hard copy purchases.