The Surprising Reason You May Be Craving Wine

There are people who enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, pairing their selections with their appetizers and entrees, even adding a port or dessert wine with their crème brulee. There are wine connoisseurs who travel the world, going from vineyard to vineyard, in search of the best wines. There are also those who only enjoy a glass of wine on holidays and special occasions.

If you enjoy a glass of red while watching television every evening, or a nightly glass of white on the patio with your partner, you may fall into that category of folks who truly crave wine ... and you would be in good company. According to Life Savvy, the average American drinks about 3.2 gallons of wine per year and the average person living in Portugal drinks about 16 gallons of wine per year. Even if you fall somewhere in between these extremes, chances are you are craving wine for a good reason.

Wine can help you relax

According to Insider, you may be craving wine for its relaxing effect, as through the years we have learned to associate wine with a "soothing" feeling. After a long day, it's not uncommon to kick off your shoes and uncork a bottle when you get home. Potomac Point Vineyard shares that, for centuries, wine has been associated with "pleasure and relaxation," as the alcohol in the wine has a sedating effect. Craving calmness and serenity is something most can relate to, and one study suggests that drinking wine in moderation can reduce feelings of stress. 

If you find yourself craving red wine more often, Australian nutritionist and author of The Forensic Nutritionist, Fiona Tuck, shares with the Daily Mail that you may have an iron deficiency. She suggests that cravings are your body's way of hinting that certain nutrients are needed, and she says, "... if you're not getting enough protein, often you will crave alcohol." 

While enjoying one glass of wine daily has heart health and stress reducing benefits, Science Dailyy reports that two glasses actually increase stress, so if stress reduction is your goal, stick with one glass per day. 

If you find yourself drinking alcohol excessively or think you may have an addiction, it's important to seek professional help, as alcoholism increases the risk of harmful medical conditions, as well as fatalities (via CDC).