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How to Avoid a Red Wine Hangover: An Alvi’s Drift Guide

The red wine hangover is infamous – but completely avoidable. Follow our guide to sidestep this after-effect next time you indulge in your favourite red.

Is there anything more enjoyable than indulging in a glass of rich, flavourful red wine?

While savouring a few glasses of your favourite red is certainly a delightful experience, waking up tired with a throbbing headache can quickly dampen the joy. In this guide, our team of Alvi’s Drift wine fundis bring you six great tips to help you avoid (or, at the very least, reduce) that dreaded red wine hangover.

#1 – Drink in moderation

It goes without saying. Moderation is key when it comes to enjoying any alcoholic beverage, including red wine.

Enjoying the flavours and nuances of a quality wine should be all about the experience, not the quantity consumed. When savouring red wine, always remember to pace yourself and be mindful of your alcohol intake.

Decide on the limit for the number of glasses you’ll consume during the evening before you have your first glass. This will help prevent overindulgence – not to mention the potential for that infamous red wine hangover!

#2 – Don't mix your drinks

Mixing different types of alcohol can wreak havoc on your body, intensifying the effects of alcohol and increasing the likelihood of a hangover.

You’d be wise to stick to one type of alcohol (such as red wine) throughout the evening. Doing so will allow your body to metabolise the alcohol more effectively, reducing the risk of any hangover the next day.

water jug with empty wine glasses in background
Staying well hydrated is crucial to avoiding that infamous red wine hangover.

#3 – Drink lots of water

When it comes to preventing a hangover, drinking lots of water is crucial. Alcohol is dehydrating, and red wine is no exception.

Make it a habit to hydrate your body by drinking lots of water throughout the evening (alternating between sips of water and sips of wine is a good way of doing this).

Staying hydrated will also help your body process alcohol more efficiently, reducing the severity of dehydration-related symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness.

Our head winemaker, Dr Alvi van der Merwe, shares his tips for avoiding a red wine hangover.

#4 – Always eat something before you drink alcohol

A simple-yet-effective strategy to reduce the effects of red wine on your body is to eat a proper meal before having your first glass.

This will help slow down your body’s alcohol absorption and also provide a protective layer in your stomach. This “food layer” will prevent alcohol from being absorbed into your bloodstream too fast.

First prize is eating a balanced meal that includes proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, as this will further help regulate how your body processes the alcohol you consume.

A bottle of Alvi's Drift Verreaux pinotage wine
Multi-award winner: Our internationally acclaimed Alvi’s Drift Verreaux Pinotage

#5 – Choose quality wines

“Our Verreaux Pinotage has proven to be a perennial favourite in local and international sommeliers' competitions, having been selected as one of the ‘Top 7 South African wines to watch out of South Africa’ by one of China’s few Wine Masters.” - Alvi van der Merwe

When it comes to wine (and its potential impact on your well-being), quality matters.

Wherever possible, always opt for wines made from high-quality grapes crafted by reputable winemakers. The reason? Wines made without the necessary care may contain impurities and additives that could contribute to that dreaded red wine hangover.

At Alvi's Drift, we’re confident that our dedication to winemaking excellence, attention to detail and meticulous production processes will ensure you a pleasant wine-drinking experience – including the following morning!

#6 – Take breaks… and listen to your body

If you want to avoid a red wine hangover, listening to your body is definitely recommended.

To “listen to your body” simply means paying attention to how you feel. If you notice any signs of intoxication or feel yourself “reaching your limit”, put down your glass and take a break from drinking.

Instead, focus on enjoying conversations with friends, and savour the moment. By being mindful and responsive to your body's signals, you can avoid overindulging – and sidestep that infamous red wine hangover as well.

Reduce the Risk of a Red Wine Hangover – and Enjoy the Added Health Benefits

There you have it – the secret to avoiding a red wine hangover is simply a combination of responsible choices and mindful consumption.

We hope you’ll find these tips useful the next time you choose to enjoy your favourite red wine. Following our experts’ advice will certainly reduce your chances of waking up feeling less-than-stellar – an added bonus is that you will be healthier overall too!

Explore Our Award-Winning Red Wines

Visit our website to learn more about our winery’s internationally acclaimed red wines, or learn about our third-generation wine farm’s rich legacy here.