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Most of my 60-plus friends have also built their lives around wine.
One couple always ask me to stay the night when inviting me over to dinner.
Only then do I put it away for good, telling myself that I have only drunk half a bottle. It makes sense to buy half a dozen bottles at the wine warehouse and load up the case in the car.
Theoretically, six bottles, if drunk alone, should last me 12 days. So in order to maintain the fiction that I only drink half a bottle a day, I buy a case of six, then when that runs out I slyly buy an extra bottle here and there until a fortnight is up, and I can return to the warehouse.
Even when a friend is calling for me to go out to a restaurant at eight, I am still on my first glass of wine at six.
So after downing veritable rivers of wine in my time, am I sniffing delicate bouquets and appreciating rare vintages? Like Iris Murdoch before me, I stick to cheap wine on the understanding that at least I will always be able to afford it, whereas fine wines might compromise my pension.
A date with someone new would be impossible without it.
Dating sites often advise you to meet initially ‘for coffee’ — but what’s the point?
According to a recent BBC Panorama programme, those aged 65 and over are more likely to drink every day, drink at home and drink alone than any other age group. One night about five years ago I was coming home from a boozy party and I vaguely remember getting off the Tube and turning into my street.In fact, I was told I had the innards of a woman of 30. Whatever my mood, it seems that wine can improve it.It takes off that top level of consciousness and allows me to enjoy events in a mellow, relaxed state.This picture is posed by models Officially, I drink half a bottle of white wine a day, but I know that on many (or most) days I exceed that.When I notice the contents of the bottle going down too fast — surely bottles are getting smaller these days? After a few minutes I take it back out and pour tiny amounts into my glass until I notice there is maybe half an inch left in the bottle. Buying wine, too, has its own self-deluding elements.