Why white wine could be doing you more harm than you think

As a nation, the UK drinks more white wine than any other colour.

Last year, 47 per cent of UK wine sales were white bottles, 42 per cent were red and 11 per cent were rose, according to The Statistics Portal. But as with all other guilty pleasures (salt, fat, watching Gogglebox) too much can be a bad thing.

Despite its clear, refreshing palate, white wine contains more sugar and sulphites than red, rose, beer and many spirits.

Another issue is just how effortlessly it slips down, despite being 13 per cent ABV (alcohol by volume), meaning we drink far more of it than we realise. Andrew Misell a director at charity Alcohol Research UK, says: “White wine doesn’t have as strong flavours, so for many it’s an easy way to unintentionally drink too much. That’s what makes it problematic.”

According to official guidelines, we shouldn’t be downing more than 14 units a week – yet more than 9 million people in England regularly exceed this. In the UK, alcohol accounts for 10 per cent of all death and disease, making it one of the three biggest lifestyle risk factors after smoking and obesity.

But there are hints that the tide is turning against white wine. Anecdotally, increasing numbers of people are complaining that it is too sweet, too acidic or that it brings out their inner ‘white wine witch’ – seemingly getting them far more drunk than other beverages and leading to worse hangovers.

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