I thought I might add another perspective to this thread. Alcohol consumption is a part of many cultures eating habits.
Being married to a native Italian, I can tell you unequivocally that wine (red or white) is part of the lunch and dinner meal for most Italians, yet the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating.
On a side note, Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding feast. 8)) LaRue put it nicely–Moderation.
As with any “splurge” that my clients wish to make, I tell them to think about the extra calories they’re ingesting and whether that “food” choice is worth the calories. Are those calories going to be a good fuel for their body? Junk in Junk Out!
We discuss alcohol as we discuss any special event and how they’ll deal with the pressure to indulge. Then we talk about the tools they can use to “walk away” from some items and to savor others while still feeling like they had a great time. With alcohol specifically we talk about how they feel the next day, how to limit drinks (drinking water or other beverages in-between) or how to fancy up a non-alcoholic drink so others will think they’re still imbibing and they won’t have to answer “Why aren’t you drinking?” type questions. I’ve found that giving my clients the tools to deal with these situations in advance and even role-playing how they’ll respond helps them to choose wisely in those situations. And if they do over-indulge to get right back to a healthy plan with the next bite, drink or workout.