What the Heck Are Wine Wands?
As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed this evening, I ran across an ad for “Wine Wands” on Amazon. Because I am a woman in her early 30s Facebook assumes this type of advertisement would be relevant to me, which in and of itself speaks volumes, but alas, that is a topic for another day. So I ran across an advertisement for “Wine Wands,” and even though I haven’t had a drink in over nine years, I must admit my curiosity got the best of me, and I clicked on the ad.
I am a little embarrassed to say that for about twenty minutes, I then fell down the rabbit hole of “what in the heck is a wine wand?!” In all honesty, it was a complete waste of my time, but it got me thinking about how insane the alcohol industry is and how it has fooled people.
So if, like me, you have never heard of a wine wand before, let me take a minute to explain it to you. A wine wand is essentially a filter that a person puts in their glass of wine. The purpose is to filter out sulfites and histamines, which are said to contribute to allergic reactions. They make them look pretty and cute with decorative handles because we all know that you can sell them for more money when you make something pink and “feminine.” It was pretty evident that a lot of time and effort went into the market research for these bad boys; no detail went unnoticed.
One of the most ironic things about the wine wand is that it is made from BPA-Free plastic, which I found amusing considering that wine and alcohol are toxic substances and known carcinogens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking alcohol raises your chance of developing six types of cancers, such as cancers of the:
- Mouth and throat
- Voicebox (larynx)
- Colon and rectum
When you take into consideration that all forms of alcohol, including wine, are known carcinogens, the idea of using a BPA-free plastic wand to filter your drink seems more than just a little silly, but I digress. Oh, and while we are on the subject, wine wands are described as being “safe and effective” because they do not add harsh chemicals into your wine! Thank goodness because wine is already toxic enough on its own so there is no need to make it even more poisonous!
I also found the product description to be particularly amusing. The listing claims that wine wands help alleviate common symptoms of drinking wine such as stuffy nose, headaches, skin flush, hangovers, and upset stomach. Now, I guess I could be a little bit of a cynic when it comes to this topic because, full disclosure, I used to be an alcoholic, but don’t these side effects occur because wine is just plain harmful to the human body? Wouldn’t it make more sense not to drink something that makes you feel sick? Aren’t these just signs that ingesting alcohol is unhealthy? Because logic would say that they are, we all know alcohol is a very addictive drug. These thoughts bring me to another point, who is the real target audience for these wine wands?
For “only” $29.99, you can purchase a 12 pack of these Wine Wands, which are each single-use for one glass of wine. With over 5,605 reviews, you can see that this is a popular item on Amazon. Some of the reviews I read left me in what I wish I could say was a shock, but to be completely honest, I was not that shocked at all.
One woman in the reviews said that the wands work great on her expensive wine. She then went on to say that she spends as much on wine in a month as most people spend on rent, so she knows her wine! To me, this signals a severe drinking problem, not a source of pride. Another review was upset, saying that the wine wands didn’t work because the person still woke up feeling sick the next day. Well, this is usually a sign that you drank too much, not that a wine wand filtration system is faulty.
Many people can see the correlation between overdrinking and getting hangovers and then stop. Again, as a former alcoholic, I want to clarify that I am not looking down on people with drinking problems; I have deep empathy for those people. The people I am judging are the ones that are profiting off of keeping those people stuck in their addiction. The people that make it easier to remain an alcoholic. The people who see someone with an addiction and think, “Gee, I can make a lot of money off these people by helping them drink more!” Those are the people that I have a problem with, not the alcoholics.
So what does all this signal, and what is the point of my story? The purpose of this is to say that the United States is full of people who have a drinking problem but cannot admit it. Our culture has normalized excessive drinking to the point that people are selling Wine Wands on Amazon, and no one thinks twice about it! Alcoholism is so normalized that something like a “wine wand” can be advertised on Facebook! What kind of culture are we living in that we think it is okay to promote toxic substances like this? If a person wants to drink, that is their choice, but to promote something that is killing people every day is entirely tone-deaf to a significant cultural health problem we are facing as a nation.
Did you know that according to the CDC, hundreds of people die from excessive alcohol use daily? This statement is taken directly from their website, which reflects the updated stats as of 2021:
“Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day.”
“Excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 95,000 deaths in the United States each year, or 261 deaths per day. These deaths shorten the lives of those who die by an average of almost 29 years, for a total of 2.8 million years of potential life lost. It is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and costs the nation $249 billion in 2010.”
Let that number of 261 deaths per day sink in for a moment. Stop and think about this. Think about the number of lives lost and the number of people left behind. Alcohol abuse is a social epidemic. Alcoholism is a deadly problem that so many people are not taking seriously, and this is why seeing cute plastic “wine wands” on Facebook feed makes me more than irritated. I have been in those shoes, ten years ago I would have bought them by the boxful, but now I can see the forest for the trees.
Let’s stop normalizing alcoholism. Let’s stop making it easier to die by alcohol. Let’s look at our relationship with this drug and see who is profiting from this because it sure isn’t our community.