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What age to introduce children to wine


I was reading an article on theguardian.com warning of the dangers of giving alcohol to children too young.

Now, the article in question didn’t seem to draw any distinction between giving a small glass of wine to a teenager occasionally vs providing a six year old with Siamond White every night of the week. (Other ciders are available.)

However it got me thinking a little bit about this. My children are 15. 12 and 10 and they have all had occasional sips of wine or beer and personally I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

I think I would be niaive to think that they wouldn’t try a drink at a party if it was available and I’d rather their first experiences of alcohol were on my terms, out in the open and controlled.

Last week it was Mrs Jonesy’s birthday and, as I opened a bottle I offered my daughter (the 15 year old) a glass but she declined. Apparently she doesn’t like the aftertaste.

So this presents another dilemma: I’ve got 6 special bottles from her birth year squirrelled away ready for her to have when she is older. But if she doesn’t like it then that’s a total waste and I’d be better off drinking it myself!


I pestered my parents sufficiently that they employed the french model, namely that of allowing small quantities of diluted wine to be drunk at some meals, starting at about 11 years old. I think the expectation was that I’d not like the taste and would move on…

I wouldn’t worry about your daughter not liking wine yet, many people don’t develop a taste for wine until they’re in their twenties.
Avoid any wastage by drinking the first bottle with her on a special day, if it’s still a definite “No” then time for plan B on the present front and enjoy the wine. It’ll probably be the last of your worries by then as you’ll be too busy doing background checks on potential boyfriends :male_detective:


I have a 14 year old son who wont touch anything, where as my 10 year old daughter will often ask for a glass of wine when she sees me with one, but she will settle for a small glass topped up with lemonade, I think its better to let them try it in a controlled environment, as we did the with my Oldest daughter who just turned 18, I don’t think the novelty factor was there anymore when she was allowed to go out legally drinking unsupervised.


I drank red in water from 8 and red and white with Sunday dinner from 14. Definitely meant I had a more grounded attitude to drinking when older - apart from one bad incident as a result of a pub running a ‘buy a pint get a shot of absinthe free’ offer and serving a bunch of us as 16 year olds (god bless the north, and the 90s) I generally managed to look after myself.


Our children (11 & 13) don’t like the taste of anything alcoholic. (Note we’ve only offered them beer, wine, G&T, etc., not any of those nasty alcopop things they probably would like!) But they know they can have booze any time they like, we don’t treat it as anything clever or special, it’s just a normal part of life.


I used to have a tiny glass (think it was actually a miniature novelty tankard) with Sunday meals, I only ever had white (would have been a Chablis of some sort as that is what my dad had, never had a red as it tasted too ‘strong’ - basically put off by the tannins it would seem.

I think its ok when younger, however if too young you wouldn’t really appreciate it etc so a bit of a waste.


Is 2 too young ?? :rofl:…! Just kidding he didn’t drink that! I think if they ask for a taste at any age then it’s acceptable to leave them try a little :clinking_glasses:


Morning all, and greetings from Provence! :clinking_glasses::fr:
Being here, surrounded by a more relaxed and convivial attitude to drinking, plus having a 15 year old at home (currently enjoying herself in Spain with her dad)- made me want to revive this topic.
We started introducing my daughter to the occasional small glass of wine with dinner when she was 14. My hope was that she would associate alcohol with the general enjoyment of food and company, and by helping her to appreciate that it’s something ideally done in moderation. For years we didn’t use to drink on nights she was with us, but that changed as she grew older.
Not everyone around us thinks it’s a good idea, but as I see that alcohol is definitely becoming part of her world- especially now that she started going to parties- I feel even more strongly about teaching her about enjoyment in moderation and in the context of food, in the ‘controlled’ environment of home.
What do you do with your children?..


My 21 & 23 year olds don’t really drink much at all. The oldest like a little white.

The new generation will be much more abstainous than us. Although Colchester high street is still full of drinks on a Saturday.