Some people won’t even speak the word wine in the same sentence as pregnancy. But in my opinion, there are actually plenty of 3 pregnancy-related situations in which wine is not only helpful, but possibly even necessary. I waited only as long as it took the nurse to disconnect my epidural to enjoy my first glorious sip of champagne. My thinking: if anyone was allowed to toast to my son’s birth, it was certainly me (plus, did I mention they’d disconnected the epidural?!).
Here are 3 pregnancy-related situations and 3 wines to satisfy your cravings.
1. You’re Trying To Get Pregnant. When it’s time to try to get pregnant, let’s face it, a glass of wine — or three — puts anyone in the mood. I say, follow up a romantic dinner with a ½ bottle of Port for dessert. Port is a fortified sweet wine. That means the wine-makers added liquor to halt the fermentation process early, leaving some residual sugars in the wine. More importantly, that addition boosts the alcohol content of Port so, on average, you’ll end up with a wine with 19-22 percent alcohol (almost double that of your standard glass of wine). I do add a note of caution, however, because it’s just the sort of shared information that might result in Sherry or Merlot trending toward the Top 100 Baby Names.
2. Cheers, Honey! You’re Going to Be A Dad! Your husband/partner swears he will ‘stop drinking with you’ in solidarity during your pregnancy. And then a couple months pass and, well, now he thinks that maybe he can just drink for you instead. If he is going to drink wine in your presence, tell him there are rules. The wine can’t cost more than $15 a bottle, it can’t be a wine you’ve been dying to try, and it most certainly cannot be your favorite wine. But since you may opt to have just a tiny sip, it’s all right that he drinks something that might taste good. Use him as your guinea pig and have him try a wine you’ve been interested in but never ventured out and purchased. Always wondered what Grüner Veltliner tastes like? Or Assyrtiko from Greece? If he likes your choices, tell him to buy another bottle and keep it around until you’re ready to jump back on the wine wagon post-birth.
3. Toasting to Your New Baby? It’s been awhile since you’ve been drinking regularly, and your hormones are in a state of chaos. You may want to opt for a wine with lower alcohol and a touch of sweetness to reacclimate your palate. Try a Moscato d’asti from Italy. At around 10-11 percent alcohol, it’s light, refreshing and even has a touch of celebratory effervescence. Or go for a bottle of Beaujolais from France. Gamay, the grape used to make Beaujolais, tastes exactly like the glass of red wine you’ve fantasized about for the past nine months. (And do not go for Beaujolais Nouveau, it’s not nearly as good.)
It’s easy to find creative ways to enjoy wine before/during/after pregnancy it just takes a bit of an adjustment. But it’s good practice, because your life will now be spent adjusting to the fact that that adorable face (the baby’s not yours) is yours forever, too.