Eric Asimov, the NYTimes wine guy, wrote a thoughtful piece today about the issue of introducing teenagers to wine. It’s a subject that’s on my mind because my 12-year-old has just begun to become interested in ambitious restaurant food (she ate foie the other night, to my surprise, and everything else we tried, beef cheek and rare duck and snapper, with great enthusiasm), and along with it she loves to try the wines we drink. Donna and I debate the ramifications of this choice. I grew up in a family where at special meals and holidays I was offered a glass of wine. I think it’s important that alcohol is not mysterious or a taboo to break once alcohol does become available to her (as it surely will and very soon), but rather something to be enjoyed thoughtfully and responsibly. How can you learn this if it’s prohibited? I’m all too aware of the real and potentially deadly affects of addiction and bingeing but I’m a Francophile with respect to kids and wine. I’m guessing that parents who read this blog love food and cooking and wines and suspect you feel the way I do but I don’t know—would love to hear from anyone with a good rationale for prohibiting young teenagers from sharing a glass of wine with good food at the table.
A story last week by Kim Severson feels related in a way, the dangers of indulgence (and Bruni blogged about it). Severson writes about some prominent fatsos in the blogosphere who are getting their comeuppance for eating too much and grappling with serious health issues. But once again, the blame is put on eating fat, and I’d like to reiterate what I said in an earlier post: we need to distinguish between being fat, and eating it. They are too different things. Fat doesn’t make us fat. Eating too much makes us fat. Eating too much of anything I think is bad for you, especially fat, but fat unfairly gets a bad rap. Happily there’s a book coming out this fall that I’ve just read the galleys of and gleefully blurbed. Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan (a Canadian whose last book won a Beard Award over my beloved Charcuterie), from the forward thinking Ten Speed Press. Wish I’d thought of this idea!