Light Regional Council Mayor Bill O'Brien

Photo: File

Photo: File

It's fair to say we live in a world where consuming alcohol is well accepted as a social and relaxing pastime.

The availability of alcohol is wide spread and its associated advertising is sophisticated and aimed at appealing to people of most age groups and although strictly regulated, encourages drinking to a very wide audience.

For over 150 years in the Barossa, wine making has been a tradition with millions of litres of high quality wine shipped all around the world.

Enjoying alcohol has become almost fundamental to our lifestyle and over many generations, drinking alcohol is an accepted way of life.

Alcohol can be addictive, however in moderation it's not only acceptable, it's been suggested it can even be beneficial to our wellness.

But what if you enjoy the relaxing effects of alcohol a little too much and you are unable to manage it?

In today's modern society giving up or cutting down drinking alcohol for any reason can be extremely difficult.

Two years ago I decided to take up this challenge when, for various reasons. I thought drinking was playing too big a part of my life and I needed to manage it better....I recalled the words of my dear old Dad when he said 'son grog ruined my life don't let it ruin yours..'

I have taken these words with me throughout my life and although alcohol has tried very hard, it never did nor ever will.

I still enjoy a great social life and many friendships and have no problem being around when fine wines or a cold beer is being consumed.

In fact I often slip down to the local pub with the boys for a yarn or to put in my footy tips.

On social occasions when others decide to have a drink I don't feel uncomfortable.

I'm not alone in my journey with many breweries worldwide now producing non-alcoholic beers, some are even on tap.

I can now have a drink without being teased or feeling left out. I understand there are some non-alcoholic wines being produced and can only hope that the Barossa may lead the way of the future in developing this area of winemaking.

I understand there could be a correlation between alcohol and flavour so the challenge may be to separate the flavour and add this back to non-alcoholic wine.

We could even lead the world in this technology.

I don't think I'm misguided and I haven't been drinking.... Cheers!