Is It Okay to Give Your Baby Wine? Is It Okay to Judge People Who Are Just Trying to Do Their Best?

You guys, I was never a big drinker. I used to have the occasional amaretto sour or Bahama Mama and call it a morning. But lately, I’ve been loving wine. I drink it pretty regularly and think about it a lot more than I think about other things like my investment portfolio and helping people.

But then it occurred to me that I might be engaging in some dangerous behaviour where my little miracle baby is concerned. I’ve caught him on the odd Wednesday night staring at me as I down my second glass of polite shiraz with a look that says, “Me wanty.”

But I couldn’t let him have any, right? That’s a good way to end up in the paper, isn’t it? I could see the headline: Bad Dad Gives Little Miracle Baby Wine, Society Crumbles, Radical Modern Parenting Agenda Fulfilled, Angelina Jolie Bares Leg in Sexy Defiance And So Forth.

But then I came across this article from Slate magazine that made it seem like it was probably okay to let my baby try some wine, with the idea that he would eventually grow up to be generally responsible with alcohol and gain an appreciation for wine all at the same time. Hell, I’d be a fool NOT to give my baby some wine.

That said, there was no way I was giving my baby wine. I’m not that irresponsible, you guys. But I figured there was nothing wrong with letting him smell it and just be around it.

So one night, I put my son into his high chair and kicked the wine-drinking ritual into gear. I put on my recording of Palestrina Masses, lit several candles, through some confetti around, broke out the glow sticks, propped up my life size Twilight cardboard cut-out, did several pushups, and cracked open a bottle of my favourite Barossa Valley shiraz.

I won’t go into detail about what I think of the wine. For that kind of information, you can visit my wine blog:

I poured myself a glass and prepared to give my baby a whiff of the wine-y goodness. Just a whiff.  Without warning, he grabbed the glass and dumped it over his head, lapping up whatever came down the face.  I tried not to freak out and proceeded as if everything was normal.

ME: So… what do you think?


ME: That’s right. It’s a bottle of wine. Do you like it?

MLMB: More.

ME: Well, I guess you do like it. What did you like about it? Can you describe some of the flavours?

MLMB: More.

ME: I can’t give you any more right now.

MLMB: More. Gimme more. I can handle it.

ME: I don’t know if you can. You’re not even two years old.

MLMB: What are you a doctor now?

ME: And anyway, it’s not like you’re going to be ready for a bunch of booze when you turn two.

MLMB: Fair point. You’re fifty-two and you can barely handle it.

ME: I’m not fifty-two and I can handle my wine, thank you very much.

MLMB: You’re the lightest lightweight I’ve ever seen.

ME: Wow. You have definitely had enough.

MLMB: Not in terms of your actual weight, mind you. You are quite heavy in that department. Quite heavy and large.

ME: Let’s try to focus on the wine.

MLMB: Sure. Just give me another goddamn sip.

ME: Hey, take it easy.

MLMB: Don’t tell me to take it easy! Baby wants a taste!

ME: This is terrifying. You’re turning into Kirsten Dunst in Interview with a Vampire

MLMBInterview with a Vampire? What other old movie references are you going to make, grandpa?

ME: That movie’s not that old.

MLMB: Gimme wine now! Wine now!

ME: Oh, my god, you’re so drunk you can barely put the words together.

MLMB: I’m not even two years old! Of course I can’t put the words together, you fat bigot!

ME: All right, we’re done here.

And with that, I packed up the wine and the rest of the crap and put the boy to bed. I’m not sure he really appreciated the taste of the wine and I’m not sure he won’t become a raging booze bag when he comes of age, but a big part of parenting is trying new things and not being afraid to experiment with your child’s health based on your own whims.



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