Where Do You Go When You Want to Know?

Where Do You Go When You Want to Know?

Last week I attended my first cannabis event hosed by the entrepreneurial powerhouse Marcia Gagliardi of San Francisco dining bible tablehopper and the genius behind mymilligram – a new cannabis media brand and newsletter curating low-dose, high-quality cannabis products.

The private launch event showcased Californian purveyors of both psychoactive and non-psychoactive products, and what struck me was the openness and encouragement of the community to engage, educate and open the doors to this burgeoning industry.

From the moment I walked to tables, hosts quickly established my level of knowledge and interest. They communicated the brand story and psychoactive components (if present) then it got interesting... They explained the timing on when side affects may be felt and gave a recommendation on ingestion - which seems to be the mymilligram ethos- “go low and slow.”

Of course cannabis is a new category, so education is par for the course, but it’s refreshing to see Gagliardi opening the educational doors to an industry often shrouded in mystery. (sound familiar?!)

As a lifelong wine friend reminded me, it’s easier to create new behaviors in young industry than refine established habits, but the transparency was refreshing and it put the decision of the experience firmly in my hands.  Product education and stories? Sure! But talking points on the side affects and a considered recommendation on how to consume “low and slow”? That was NEW.

It got me thinking about our business and how we arm people with critical information on alcohol, and I believe we fall short. While we commonly inform drinkers on geography, topography, terroir, soil, vintage, weather, winemaker, family, history, we rarely address alcohol and its effects. Do we know how many standard drinks are in the bottle, or how many glasses it can take to feel “buzzed”? Not often.

As industry professionals we know there’s a big difference in the impact on our physiology between a 10% Semillon and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, or a mixed cocktail over a neat pour, but how do we help each other?  It’s an area worth exploring, and while there’s a plethora of data out there, here are 5 tools that are helping me be better informed:


1. AlcoMate Prestige AL6000 Breathalyzer

My employer issues a handheld device to any employee involved in the promotion, sales or marketing of wine, thereby putting the power of making better decisions literally in your hands. While not 100% accurate or defensible in a court of law, it sure beats guesswork!

2. 250ml / 25cl Glass Measuring Cylinder

With a simple glass measuring jug and your most commonly used wine glass (it helps to sight the level) you can see exactly how much alcohol you are enjoying. A Standard Glass of 12% wine equates to 148ml, so it enables you to keep consumption within the “low to moderate risk” category.

3. Moderation Guidelines – Wine in Moderation UK

WIM is a UK based organization with a wealth of information, and this online video is a great 2 minute introduction on how to enjoy wine with low risk to moderate consumption. Note: EU guidelines are for Women - 2 drinks per day, Men - 3 drinks per day (1 unit = 10gm pure alcohol)

4. BAC Calculator - International Association Responsible Drinking (IARD)

A simple online tool that projects your potential blood alcohol levels (BAC) based on your gender, weight, type of beverage, alcohol volume, size of glass and hours to consume. A quick guideline to have in mind if you are headed out for a glass or two.

5. Hello Sunday Morning

An Australian non-profit whose objective is to change the cultural approach to drinking in Australia. A site with plenty of resources and links for those curious for information, looking for support, or hoping to help another. The website is packed with tips, ideas and commentary on the beloved Australian past time.

I don’t believe you need to have a “problem” to want to understand alcohol.  And in a society where information is instant, resources are prolific, and younger drinkers are demanding transparency, insight and knowledge, we can only help our industry and each other by opening up this conversation to more voices, and more choices.

Check out the new section here on the site -  Alcohol Resources and Reading  - and drop a line with any ideas or resources to add to the discussion. If you have any resources that help, we would love to hear about them.

As always, thanks for reading and being part of the community.




Meet The Tribe:

Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.


Hannah Wallace

Freelance Writer and Editor (SevenFifty Daily, Food & Wine Magazine)

Years In Industry:

20 years - including 12 in a freelance capacity. 

My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:  

For most of my 8 years as an editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, I sat at a conventional desk. When I was diagnosed with two herniated disks, I told my doctor that I couldn't figure it out--I hadn't carried anything heavy lately. He told me it was likely due to sitting for too many hours a day. How depressing! 

I immediately requested a stand-up desk and have had one every since—at the office and at home.  Now I do most of my phone interviews and short computer tasks (responding to e-mails, paying bills, etc.) while standing and then I do most of my writing sitting at the kitchen table.  Standing for several hours a day not only puts less pressure on my lower back, it keeps me more active. 

How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:  

Yoga! One of the best things about being freelance is I can practice yoga anytime—and I do. I usually have my mat out all day and I'll do a quick vinyasa in the middle of the day if my brain is fried or I just need to stretch out my arms, neck, and back. 

I also go running in a nearby park—heavenly Laurelhurst Park—several times a week. I've been trying to go without my phone so I can really connect with nature and daydream a bit--but I've got a bit of a podcast addiction.  So lately I'll listen to an episode of the Daily (or Trumpcast or Katherine Cole's the FourTop) and then I'll turn it off 10 minutes before the end of my run so I can commune with the trees and flowers. ;)  

Connect with Hannah at www.hannahwallace.com on Instagram @Hannahmw23  or Twitter @Hannahmw23  


What We’re Reading:

There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.

A Few Too Many – The New Yorker

Of the miseries regularly inflicted on humankind, some are so minor and yet, while they last, so painful that one wonders how, after all this time, a remedy cannot have been found.

Preparing for Success: Strategic Career Negotiations for Women - HBR

Discussions of women in the workplace often focus on the gender pay gap and how individuals can strive toward pay equity. But how do you think strategically and holistically while planning for the short- and long-term?


Let's Meet Up!

As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.  Check out details on the new Let's Meet Up! page

- Aspen Food & Wine, June 15 to June 17 (Rebecca)  - Join us Saturday 17th June 8.00am for a morning yoga practice and meditation. $10 donation suggested and please email Rebecca if you are interested and need a yoga mat or props.

- Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines, in Champagne, France, July 5 to 7 (Cathy) 

- Wine Australia event in Lake Tahoe, July 22 to 26 (Cathy)

- TexSOM Conference August 11 - 13 (Rebecca)

Drop a line to rebecca@abalancedglass.com or cathy@enolytics.com if you are interested in getting together for practice, a chat or a great glass together.

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