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Why 14.3% Alcohol Makes Me Fall Asleep

By Charles Olken

If you came here expecting a rant about high alcohol wines, thanks for the compliment. But the truth is that all wine makes me fall asleep if I drink too much of it, while a reasonable amount of wine, whether 12.9% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) or 14.3% does not.

It is as simple as that. The difference in the two ABV levels mentioned is about ten per cent. Or the equivalent of one ounce in a half bottle. Now, I don’t know about you, but I expect to fall asleep after dinner if I drink more than half a bottle of wine. In point of fact, it is why I drink less wine now than I did when I did not mind missing an hour or so every night.

Frankly, I thought we had put these kinds of silly arguments to bed long ago when the world started doing the math. Admittedly, it was necessary to make the complainers do the math because their bold declarations of early buzz were without scientific standing.

Yet, just the other day, the argument resurfaced. And it kind of came out of left field. There is an on-going debate, in which I admit to being involved, over on Steve Heimoff’s blog centered around the doings of a group that has dubbed itself IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE. The Wine Spectator’s head wine guy, Jim Laube, took that group to task and Mr. Heimoff endorsed those views.

What started out as a discussion of balance turned into a discussion of alcohol. That so many of the IPOB supporters blame alcohol is not surprising given the concerns we all have about overconsumption, but what is surprising is the still-heard rant that wines not made in the IPOB image will put you asleep. Sorry, but we all got that years ago and then we did the math.

So, please folks, if you are one of those who thinks that the difference in the amount you can consume of one wine versus another is not measured by the ounce, but by the number of full glasses of said wine you can consume, please do the math. This is not rocket science. We all did decimals in the fifth grade.


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by TomHill
Posted on:9/4/2014 12:22:16 PM

Awwwwww, Charlie. That's pretty wussy as a rant goes. Surely you can do better than that???  :-)

I thought it was all pretty silly on Heimhoff argueing over such a small amount of alcohol. Just do the friggin' math. It's trivial. Even a rocket scientist can do it.


by Charlie Olken
Posted on:9/4/2014 2:27:53 PM


In truth, Tom, I could have gone after the guy who made the comment over on Heimoff a lot harder, but we have been over that ground, and "do the math" pretty much covers the topic. 

And yes, a rocket scientist could also do the math, but what about a nuclear scientist?

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