If you asked me ten years ago about my knowledge of wine, I could easily rattle off the different varietals and regions worldwide. I prided myself for knowing more than the average person and gave myself the distinguished title of “Wine Snob”.
And… so I was.
I elegantly disguised my wine habit as my wine hobby. I wasn’t just a social drinker. I was a wine connoisseur. I was a big California red know-it-all, and snooty Mendoza Valley Chardonnay of Argentina fan. I knew my stuff, and I played the part well.
Many gray area drinkers do this too. They call their alcohol habit their “hobby” so it sounds more acceptable with a distinguished feel to it. Our relationship with alcohol can be romantic, seducing and satisfying. This includes everything from fine Bourbons, to Craft IPA beers, to the multitude of Tequila brands, and of course, the glorious wonder of wine.
I used to laugh when my husband questioned me about my nightly glass of wine with dinner. I would say something like, “They drink wine every day in France, so what’s the big deal!” In other words, lay off of me and my “hobby”. After all, I was just trying to educate myself by trying different wines from around the world!
Is alcohol a hobby or habit for you?
So when does the hobby turn into a habit?
When the alcohol consumption becomes a repeatable behavior on a regular basis. One might describe this behavior as “It’s just what I do. I love it!” Or, “I love the way it tastes.”
They love it until their hobby friend nips them in the head the next day. I’m talking about the dreaded hangover. In time, the hangover becomes less intense, but still a groggy feeling throughout the morning. The words of “I really need to cut back or lay off the alcohol for a few days” are uttered in a self observant manner, (quietly, of course). They don’t dare tell anyone in fear they may be drinking too much.
This is the cycle of a gray area drinker.
A gray area drinker is not physically dependent on alcohol, but is drinking more than just socially. It is a broad spectrum of drinkers that affects approximately 50% of the population.
So next time you tell yourself of others that you have a wine or craft beer hobby, ask yourself the question, is it a hobby, or a habit?
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