Did anyone read the recent recommendation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists that people over the age of 65 should moderate their alcohol intake to 1.5 units a day?
That’s about half a pint of beer or one small (125ml) glass of wine. It is, I will be blunt, not an awful lot.
The medical value of this advice is not for me to challenge in this column, but what I will tell you is that I had at least one sleepless night considering the frugal wine drinking future that there is ahead.
As we’re all going to be working longer, have less disposable income and are now being told well in advance about what we should and should not drink in our senior years, it’s little wonder that we — the 30 (rapidly heading to 40) something generation — aren’t the most cheerful bunch these days. I, at least, don’t have children coming home from school who tut-tut over my evening glass of wine.
That’s the experience of my neighbour who has taken to furtively supping her ‘little glass of something’ in between dishing out the suppertime pasta twirls and making next day’s packed lunches in much the same way that I used to try and eat bonbons out of my parents’ view as I moved around the house.
It is, of course, a good thing that the up and coming generation know all about the sensible consumption of alcohol, but it is a little rough when the nine-year-old from next door pops round to drop off a borrowed dish and glares rather intently at me in my garden chair, a book and glass in hand.
“Isn’t it a bit early for that?” he wants to know. “What, the book or the water?!”, I reply whilst mentally making a note that pouring water into a wine glass is clearly not a wise move if I don’t want every passer by to shake their heads in dismay at my assumed ‘out of respectable hours’ drinking habit.
If this is the generation that are going to be caring for me in my dotage then I had better get craftier at hiding my booze for I fear that these good folk, in a bid to keep me healthy, will clean me out of my wine collection like locusts stripping bark.
Anyway, this rather bleak look into the future has been delightfully lightened up with week with the chance to enjoy the Bodegas Catena Zapata Chardonnay 2008 (£18.95, www.winedirect.co.uk) from Argentina.
It is a glorious Chardonnay, with a rich brioche, green honey and tropical fruit nose. The flavours are broad — think baked pear and mango fruit — with dashes of vanilla spice all kept refreshed with a bright backbone of acidity.
It’s already got three years bottle age but there’s not question in my mind that it will keep another two to five years. The worry is that by then we might be too old to drink it, so I’d uncork a bottle now if I were you!