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As a child (under 21) did your parents give you wine or alcohol at home with meals?

It's legal in some states, and not in others.

But regardless of the legality of doing, did your parents ever provide you with wine during meals?

If they did, do you think it made you appreciate food and/or alcohol more as an adult?

We often hear the oft-repeated refrain that parents aren't cooking enough or making enough wholesome meals at home for their children.

I just wonder if parents were in the habit of pairing a wine with whatever they happened to be plating that night if that wouldn't make the parents think harder about what to serve -- instead of just mindlessly popping open a blue box and boiling some water ... which is not say a good Chardonnay doesn't go well with Mac 'N Cheese ...

Would drinking be a "gateway habit" to better eating?

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  1. Yes they did though my parents weren't extravagant drinkers. I have drawn from those experiences in determining what I think is good and bad, and I think it's part of the reason why I do pay attention to a good food and wine pairing.

    Did yours?

    6 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      They did not. Not because of legal concerns, but just that they were not big into wine. Spirits, yes. But not wine.

      I wish they did, however.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        The only wine I remember from my early drinking days was Boones Farm Apple wine.

        1. re: monku

          That's funny! I remember Boones far, along with Snapple Apple and Snapple strawberry wine. Next I "graduated" to Mateus- thought it was great because it was the first corked wine I ever bought!

          1. re: macca

            Don't forget Blue Nun on that journey ... how sophisticated ... German wine.

            The only thing I would make illegal ... until someone is 30 ... is the sweet soda wines like Boone's Farm, Arbor Mist etc. They aren't about taste and only getting smashed in a way that isn't offputting. A kid might not like the taste of a red wine, but these sugar wines are soda with a buzz.

            Pairing Boone's Farm isn't high on most people's list to pair with food. Though someone did suggest pairing Arbor Mist strawberry white mist with strawberry cupcakes ... it "rocked' according to them.
            http://www.drvino.com/2009/03/23/cupc...

            Should you go the Abor Mist route with a child, of course you want to instruct them on how to open a bottle.
            http://www.ehow.com/how_7347110_open-...

            Quite frankly, anyone who needs those instructions has lost too many brain cells drinking it.

            Whatever anyone is paing wines like this with, it certainly isn't a gateway to better eating.

            I'm not sure how serious it is, but someone said Boone's Farm Apple pairs nicely with Velveeta.

            Or the deep-fried-butter-on-a-stick and Boone's Farm duo
            http://www.drvino.com/2009/10/09/frie...

            Then there is the pairing with pop tarts
            http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_wine_g...

            "I believe that the Boones Farm brand was practically made for the Tart-wine pairing. Who could resist the sweet taste of Boone's farm strawberry wine together with a double strawberry Pop Tart, toasted or not, one just brings out the fruity goodness of the other. The Apple wine is a sure thing with a cinnamon or apple/cinnamon toaster confection"

            Indeed.

            1. re: rworange

              Great post! Arbor Mist was after my time- love the pop tart and Boones Farm pairing. I will admit to drinking Boones Farm in my youth- but, to tell the truth, I have never had a pop tart!

        2. re: ipsedixit

          The only wine I remember drinking as a kid was Manischewitz, at Passover seders. The children at the seder table even had their own special "wine glasses" -- they held maybe an ounce or two -- and giving kids wine was no big deal.

          Funny thing about wine, though. During that era, all we ever knew of wine was the likes of Manischewitz and Mogen David, and I'd guess that that was true not only of my household, but of most households in my Brooklyn, NY neighborhood.

      2. It's legal in some states, and not in others.

        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        The age in the US is 21+

        Think times have changed since I was growing up in NY (drinking age was 18 then).
        Didn't really drink with meals, but my parent's would rather me and my friends drink (when just under 18 (16?)) in the basement bar rather than going out and getting into a car wreck. Again, times were different, today if a parent allowed something like that they would be arrested.

        9 Replies
        1. re: monku

          Again, times were different, today if a parent allowed something like that they would be arrested.

          _____________________________

          Not true.

          41 States That Allow Underage (under 21) Alcohol Consumption
          http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.re...

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I find it hard to believe that it's "legal" for someone to have a party at their home (California, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Wyoming) serving minors alcohol without parental consent is legal.

            1. re: monku

              monku I do not think the OP meant PARTY!!!! for minors at their house. I honestly think OP asked did your parents, when at dinner, family dinner, offered you a sip or glass to help you learn/experience the food and alcohol pairs.

              Where would you want your children to learn such?

              1. re: Quine

                According to the link OP provided, that's what it basically says except it doesn't use the word "party".
                http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.re...

                I've got a few more years before my daughter turns 21. She knows my wife and I don't drink because we don't enjoy it. Have offered her sips of champagne and wine, but she didn't like it. Time will tell.

                1. re: Quine

                  I honestly think OP asked did your parents, when at dinner, family dinner, offered you a sip or glass to help you learn/experience the food and alcohol pairs.
                  _______________

                  Bingo!

                2. re: monku

                  I find it hard to believe that it's "legal" for someone to have a party at their home (California, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Wyoming) serving minors alcohol without parental consent is legal.

                  ________________________________

                  Read the law. That's what it says.

                  1. re: monku

                    A party in someones home where alcohol is served to minors (and their parents aren't present) is NOT legal in Nevada. There have been several cases where an adult (usually a parent with misguided intentions) served alcohol to their child's friends and they were prosecuted.

                    1. re: nvcook

                      Well, that's the key, isn't it? The presence of parents.

                      Relevant Nevada Rev. Stat. http://drinkingage.procon.org/sourcef...

                    2. re: monku

                      In California it's a misdemeanor to furnish alcoholic beverages to minors regardless of parental consent. (B&P Code 25658.) The website linked above has a very limited focus - minor-in-possession laws. Just because the kid isn't committing a crime by having a drink doesn't mean it was legal for the parent to pour it.

                      Of course, common sense and prosecutorial discretion will certainly limit the enforcement of that law. But if the police break down my door and haul me away from the dinner table because I've served my kids wine, I guess I'll just have to take the rap.

                3. I do not think that offering a sip, a drink, a glass at at home dinner is illegal, but hey I am not a lawyer.

                  Yes my parents let me taste and try everything. Often when I did not want to try. They felt and I SO agree with, that knowing is a good thing. You can make better decisions in peer pressured situations when you have some good solid experiences what is what.

                  I'd rather learn in a good value/safe situation rather than a peer induced "drink ya sissy" ""drink drink drink"/

                  I know your question was about pairing taught early by example. But I went for an answer more primal,how can we teach our children how to imbibe sensibly?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Quine

                    But I went for an answer more primal,how can we teach our children how to imbibe sensibly?
                    __________________________

                    Actually, I think was part of my question.

                    And I think the answer starts with drinking with their parents and observing the (hopefully) responsible fashion that adults can imbibe alcohol without making a fool of themselves. In other words, I think in a family dinner table setting children can learn that alcohol can and should be a means to better enjoyment of eating and food, and not just as a means to raise one's BAC while decreasing one's inhibitions.

                  2. Mine did not, and they have always been wine drinkers, although Dad usually has a martooni before dinner.

                    My Mom was really watchful that we didn't drink as kids. I remember making a grasshopper pie and her hovering over me as I measured out the required amounts of liqueur for it. Her reason for worrying is that there are alcoholics on both sides of the family and she's always been afraid we'd follow in their footsteps.

                    Even with all of that, my liver still decided to up and quit on me last November, so no more drinking for me *sob*.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: tracylee

                      tracylee, Hugsl May all the best come to you.

                      1. re: tracylee

                        All the best from me as well. May the the gods of liver regeneration smile on you :)

                        1. re: alliegator

                          Thank you, alliegator! I'm going to see an acupuncturist tomorrow who has had success with cases like mine. Hopefully I can get an appetite back as well!

                      2. Yes, we had our tiny wine or beer glasses and could always try the wine but often didn't like it. We also made wine. My parents had a group of friends who would rent a crusher and get a truckload of grapes from the other side of the state, then there would be a couple of big plastic garbage cans full of wine fermenting in the basement until it was ready for bottling, which we all helped with. I was apparently a very young wine snob and at some point decided I liked store-bought wine better than homemade, also notorious for giving up red wine for Lent at the tender age of probably 9 or 10 (I didn't like red as much so it wasn't exactly a sacrifice). Also ALWAYS had dinner together as a family, Mom's good cooking and fresh produce from the garden (in season). For our family wine and food were very much hand-in-hand. I don't know if I learned much about pairing, or if the food would have been any less good without the wine, but I am definitely glad I grew up on real food and diverse food, whether it was carrots from the garden or things that weren't necessarily everywhere 30 years ago, like prosciutto and brie.