Firstly a disclaimer.  I still drink alcohol.  But after finding out that the after effects increase as we get older, and are not just about having a hangover, I limit what I drink, and make sure I really enjoy it.    

The effects –  After 40 our blood brain barrier gets thinner so alcohol may cause more effect, both short term and long term.  It also can affect our sleep quality, & can exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms through side tracking the liver which can therefore not focus on breaking down hormones & lead to hormone imbalance.  It does also affect our weight more and the result of all these changes can result in more anxiety.

Therefore, after reading an article from the Sunday Times wine specialist stating that finally, (although it’s apparently a very tricky process), there are some nice alcohol free wines, I decided that I would try some out.

The wines tried were:


  • McGuigan low alcohol sauvignon blanc
  • Sainsburys alcohol free white wine


  • McGuigan low alcohol Shiraz
  • Tesco Low Alcohol cabernet Tempranillo


  • Freixenet

I was planning on giving each a mark out of 10 on taste, how they looked etc.  Unfortunately to me the whites were both very appletiser, the reds ribena and the freixenet was a no.  I would say that if you really had to I’d go the McGuigan route, and also, I do not like sweet wine so possibly it was never going to work for me.  Rich (my 40sMan) was slightly kinder about the McGuigan sauvignon blanc but said “comparing these drinks to wine is like comparing apples to pears”.  So instead of suggesting you replace your Friday night tipple with one of these, my suggestions are:

  • Replace with something that isn’t wine.  Sarah Gottfried MD, who is a researcher and scientist recommends Kombucha tea  “a powerful antioxidant, detoxifier and supporter of the immune system.  It is bubbly and tasty and has approx 0.5 percent alcohol per service”.  
  • Alcohol free beer – I previously was very negative on this.  But actually on a hot day, a cold alcohol free beer can hit the spot.  The negative is it can still have a very small amount of alcohol in it and can contain sugar
  • Alcohol free spirits – e.g. seedlip.  I haven’t tried this myself but feedback generally is quite positive – let me know if you have tried.

So that’s the info.  My main aim of this newsletter is to get the information across and then you can of course make your own decisions.  If, like me, you decide the benefit is still worth it I drink little (not often), enjoy it, make sure it’s something I really like, and don’t feel guilty about it!