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UAL Research Online

Women, wine and the self-gift: between self-indulgence and justification

Almila, Anna-Mari (2020) Women, wine and the self-gift: between self-indulgence and justification. In: Wine and Gift Roundtable, 14 August 2020, Massey University.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Almila, Anna-Mari

Throughout history, women have been expected to drink wine differently from men: with different preferences, tolerances, motivations and consequences. Yet today, wine is one of the alcoholic beverages often considered ‘suitable’ for women, and women are known to buy more wine than men do in many Anglo-Saxon countries. Women are typically considered to be everyday rather than occasion buyers, as they tend to estimate their wine knowledge low and are often consequently intimidated by the task of choosing wine. Some producers have sought to tap into this segment, producing and marketing wine explicitly for women. These are typically low-alcohol, low-calorie and low-sugar wines. When described as such, they seem to be far from the idea of hedonistic self-indulgence, which presumably makes them ‘suitable’ for women.

In this presentation, I discuss the ways in which women render their wine-drinking ‘acceptable’. One key means to do so is self-gifting, a process which involves a justification of deservedness of the gift (such as busy work life or domestic and child-minding duties). Often such self-gifting also includes a social element, either consuming the wine with a (female) friend or sharing the fact that one is consuming such self-gifted drink in social media. The visual representations of this kind of self-gifts involve settings such as a bubble bath and sparkling wine in a flute glass, or a sea view and a glass of wine on a terrace table. During ‘me time’ it is permissible for a woman to consume alcohol, even alone, without the stigma of a woman drinking at home alone. Drawing on feminist gift literature, I explore the limits of female self-indulgence and social control, and the transformative capacities of self-gifting practices.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: gift, self-gift, gender, wine
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 14 August 2020
Event Location: Massey University
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2020 13:22
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2020 13:22
Item ID: 15934
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15934

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