In your last trimester you might find yourself faced with a serious dilemma: it’s your anniversary, your 35th birthday, or your “I just can’t wait another day,” any of which inspire you to indulge in just ONE glass of wine. Some recent studies suggest that moderate drinking may be safe during pregnancy, and I decided that on my fourth anniversary, with five weeks still remaining in my pregnancy, I would indulge in just one glass. I opted to split my one glass in two: half a glass of white followed by half a glass of red. I remember it as one of the most glorious days of my pregnancy.
Go Big or Go Home (and Take a Well-Deserved Nap): “Just One Glass” is not for everyone. But if you do opt for one glass during your pregnancy, keep a few tips in mind. Start by doing yourself a favor and selecting an aged wine (look for wines that are eight to 10 years old or older). Most of the wine made throughout the world shouldn’t be kept past a certain date (much like your pregnancy). In fact, approximately 80 percent or more of wines made are supposed to be consumed within 1 to 2 years of bottling. Day to day wines should be fresh, simple, approachable and delicious. But for great wines, complexity, depth and finesse come into play, and aging them is a game changer.
Simply put, the slow oxidation of wine over years in the bottle changes the flavors and adds new layers of intricacy. Great wines also cost more money to produce, take longer to make and store, and accordingly, cost you more at the counter. Let your spouse or partner pony up the money, or crack open that bottle you’ve been saving for the “special occasion” you’ve never quite found (trust us, a partner can deny you nothing at this stage in your pregnancy). For nine months, you will have saved at least $20 a month NOT drinking wine, so the $90 bottle you’ve decided to spend on this one is actually a bargain.
I’d advise you skip Champagne for this one glass, not because vintage-aged Champagnes are anything short of miraculous, but simply because a) you gotta make this glass last as long as possible and bubbles tend to dissipate, and b) you will likely end up popping lots of Champagne corks once your little one is born.
One Glass Suggestions: Many women claim they have a heightened sense of taste during pregnancy, so consider yourself the next Robert Parker and enjoy every nuance and flavor great wine has to offer. Try an aged Bordeaux or Barolo. Aged Bordeaux has been the standard by which great red wines have been measured for centuries. Barolos, from Italy, typically require 10 years of aging before they can be enjoyed, and are worth every second. Or try an aged Burgundy (red or white): this is finesse bottled and in liquid form. If you haven’t tried aged Burgundies, you will marvel at what Pinot Noir and Chardonnay can taste like after they’ve lingered in a bottle for a while. Or if the mood suits you, try an older Sauterne: this is liquid sex in a bottle. And depending on how close you are to your due date, it may be the only type of sex that interests you.
Make it a Day to Remember: Pregnancy has its ups and downs, so make this one glass a moment to savor and share. In fact, keep the wine label for your baby book, and one day you can tell your kid that you made sure s/he had only the best from the very beginning.