STATS.org offers some valuable context for stories about the benefits of alcohol:
Regular wine drinking has also been shown through epidemiological studies to reduce cardiovascular disease by significant amounts…
Which is all very interesting. But the salient point – that red wine is consumed in social, non-abusive way, usually over dinner, was highlighted by a rather less uplifting news report from Finland, where alcohol has now become the leading cause of death for men, and the second leading cause of death for women.
Researchers have long divided Europe into two drinking cultures: A northern, binge drinking culture, and a southern, social-drinking culture…Unfortunately, increasing numbers of youth in France, Italy and Spain appear to be adopting northern binge-drinking habits too