Serving Your Kids Wine With Dinner (Preteens Excluded)

Oh boy is it heating up over on the New York Times website after this blog post asking readers when should you serve wine to your children (if ever) and should you ever do it in a restaurant?


To me typing here in Europe, the notion that your 17+ year old kids can’t have a glass of wine with you when you go out to a restaurant is pretty crazy but it is the law and so every restaurant in the U.S. could be found liable for serving under age drinkers.

In the home though is a different matter. Like many children in Europe I was allowed to have a small taste of wine as a complement to my meal from about the age of 15/16 years old onwards.

Growing up in a household that celebrated wine as part of a meal and not as something regulated and "only for adults" demystified alcohol for me.

Having a glass of wine with a family meal didn’t make me want to go and get hammered – that only happened once I had children of my own :)

What do you Gastrokid readers think? (We’ll also be opening this corked topic up over on the Gastrokid Network).

- Matthew

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6 Responses to Serving Your Kids Wine With Dinner (Preteens Excluded)

  1. blair says:

    I grew up in Spain and in South America and my parents, both US Americans, allowed me to have wine with dinner since I was a very young child. It started out as mostly water with a hint of color until I was older and allowed the wine full strength. I think, based on my own observations, that during my own adolescence I had a healthier respect for alcohol than most of my peers in the USA… though it did not stop my drinking outside the dinner table. I think a key part of it is how my parents handled it as I grew up, that was probably the most influential thing in how I grew up in terms of how I relate to wine and such… modeling… who would of thunk it!

  2. Christine says:

    I think that having a glass of wine with dinner is completely normal … so why shouldn’t my children come to think of it as completely normal as well? At 15/16/17 … depending on the child, I really don’t see anything wrong with enjoying the wine with dinner just like every other person at the table. The drinking age in the US is ludicrous to begin with – 21 is completely unreasonable, and no one actually believes that people haven’t had a drink before that day. Enjoying wine in the controlled home environment seems like a perfectly rational way to begin.

  3. Molly says:

    I actually did not have an alcoholic beverage until my 21st birthday. I know I am in th minority, however, as I tend to be a strict rule follower. I do wonder about the difference between “allowing wine with dinner” and “allowing teenage drinking.” Many parents do allow supervised wine consumption, but there’s no way that legislation can be drafted to allow for that and not allow for abuse of alcohol. In the U.K. the drinking age is 18, is it not?
    All that being said, I am in support of younger drinking ages paired with a healthy respect for alcohol in general.

  4. Growing up in a European family we always were allowed a small amount of watered down wine. We thought it was normal. Sometimes I feel the more you ban a product the more likely we are to binge.

  5. MELANIE says:

    ummm i think this website is in apporate now all because of this website my chils want wine for dinner and noe because i gave him sonme wine he through up and id now in the hispitial just for ur fyi i am cring
    i am never letting my friends or family see this website

  6. comenet says:

    well your a loser

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