Alcohol: Fooled by the Hype

We are not only fooled into drinking alcohol because of the image of sophistication, glamour and maturity that has been portrayed in the advertising. We are also fooled into thinking that it takes a connoisseur to be able to recognise a decent bottle of wine or a good malt whisky.

However, is it not interesting that it is an acquired taste to like alcohol . Few of us like the taste (even if we like the effects) at the first sip. I never grew to like whisky and brandy. I could  drink these spirits when I was absolutely desperate for a drink and would just about drink any alcohol. Many of us eventually grow to like the taste of beer after much practice and wine.  Again it is interesting that lots of us start off by liking sweeter wines. Progress onto drier ones when we acquire the taste. Indeed, as a nation, wine drinking became popular with the growth of the German wine market in the 1980s. We ‘progressed’ as a nation onto drier Italian and French wines. Finally ’embracing’ the wines from the New World some years later.


What is it, though, that can convince some people that a bottle of wine which is sufficiently mature can be worth hundreds of pounds? They must have more money than sense! The same goes for certain matured spirits. Yet when we are tempted to indulge in these we are often several drinks in to a drinking session (and sometimes it can therefore be wasted not just because we cannot possibly appreciate it but because accidents happen.

I was at a Christmas lunch at which a £300 bottle of brandy was ordered and one of the guests for whom a glass of the precious liquid was poured, promptly knocked it over. In contrast we have the marketing hype of beaujolais nouveau which cannot be drunk when it is old. The younger the better – so we have people going to France to get it on the day and we pay inflated prices….


Then we have the people who like to ‘taste’ the wine before it is poured, who swirl it round in a glass before pronouncing it good (or not) to serve. Such pomposity! They select a wine to go with a meal. Often the diners are all eating different things so if it goes with one meal. It may not be so appropriate for another.

Fooled by Hype

It is all a little like the fairy tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes. We are fooled by the hype into believing what we are told. Into thinking that the connoisseurs know best when in fact it is the ‘con’ part of the name connoisseur that we should be noting…

If you have an alcohol or drug related problem. Please call The Haynes Clinic on 0330 333 8184 for free and confidential advice and help. The Haynes Clinic offers residential treatment for dependency on alcohol, drugs and prescription medication. We can also help with other addictions such as gambling and with eating disorders.