Four ways to drink less (without feeling like you’re missing out)

Has the pandemic upped your consumption of alcohol? Want to cut down without feel like you’re missing out? Discover four ways to drink less.

We all have good intentions, but the lure of a second (or third) glass from an open bottle of wine can be strong. After all, open wine will oxidise within a day, tasting more and more like vinegar, so leaving it can feel like an expensive waste.

How can we square this with the fact that according to current guidelines, drinking more than 14 units a week (that’s for both men and women) increases health risks considerably? When you consider that a standard bottle of wine at 13.5% is already 10 units, it doesn’t leave much room for manoeuvre especially if you take the advice from the NHS to spread out these units over three days or so. 

Dynamic drinks duo Aidy Smith and Helena Nicklin from Amazon Prime’s The Three Drinkers share four tried and tested, small changes you can make in order to drink wine more moderately and spread it out over time.

Watch our video interview with Aidy and Helena

1) Buy half bottles

It’s official; the thought of physically having to open another bottle can be enough to make you think twice about doing it. It feels so different to simply topping up a glass. There are companies out there now like the Little Fine Wine Company offering high class, special wines in half bottles, so it’s worth investing in a stash. 

2) Get a wine preservation system

Finishing a bottle because it will spoil otherwise feels wrong on many levels, especially if you’ve spent some proper money on it. There are several gadgets on the market now however, that allow you to have a single glass or two without the rest of the bottle spoiling, whether it’s cork or screw cap.

These gadgets, such as the Coravin Pivot, work by replacing the oxygen in the bottle with argon gas and depending on the product, your wine will keep going for a week, a month or even a few years. No excuses. 

3) Commit to specific days off a week

We’ve found that if we make agreements with ourselves not to drink on certain days no matter what, it helps us moderate. With our busy life schedules, getting used to no booze Sunday to Wednesday (at the least) can make a big difference. Or if your schedule is different every day like ours, planning your on and off days every Sunday and diarising them will help you stick to the plan.

Tell your friends too so they know in advance to avoid the peer pressure. Booking a workout early in the morning will also help you stick to this. Win win! 

4) Drink less but drink better

You know how ‘proper’, high quality chocolate begs to be savoured as there’s so much going on? Well it can be the same with wine. If you’re drinking less, chances are you’ll feel inclined to spend more on better, more complex wine.

If you’ve invested more than usual into a special bottle, you are then more likely to take your time over it and savour it rather than rushing to the next sip trying to chase the flavour. It’s better all round (when sharing, of course) to have one bottle of better wine versus two, ‘meh’ bottles that taste of hangover. 

For more drinks features and recommendations, go to or follow Aidy and Helena on @TheThreeDrinkers @HelenaSips and @Sypped.