To examine in the general population the association of regular consumption of wine with meals, subjective well-being and risky drinking.
A random sample of Finnish people aged 18-69 ('Finnish Drinking Habits Survey 2008', n = 2591, response rate 74%) were interviewed regarding psychological distress, self-efficacy, self-perceived health, uncontrolled drinking, negative events during drinking, hazardous drinking and consumption of alcohol. The analysis focused on comparison of those who drank wine at least once a week versus more seldom. Regression models adjusted for social determinants, smoking and chronic illness.
Twelve percent of Finnish adults drank wine with meals at least once a week. Drinking wine with meals was an urban phenomenon and associated with higher socioeconomic status. Regular wine with meal drinkers reported better health, higher self-efficacy and less psychological distress than others even when various confounders were adjusted for. They also reported more risky drinking and higher yearly consumption than other alcohol consumers. Especially those who drank both wine and beer during meals had higher rates of risky drinking. Those restricting themselves to only wine with meals reported less hazardous drinking than the general population.
Consumption of wine with meals was associated with high socioeconomic status and high subjective well-being. Risky drinking was prevalent among wine with meal drinkers, but only among those who drank both wine and beer with meals. Potential unknown confounders may exist, but the results underline a link between subjective well-being and drinking wine with meals.