Why do I seem to get drunk faster on Champagne than other drinks?
November 12th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Why do I seem to get drunk faster on Champagne than other drinks?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Q: Why do I seem to get drunk faster on Champagne than other drinks?

A: It's not your imagination. While a glass of Champagne has the same alcohol content as a glass of wine or your basic cocktail, the bubbles (gas) in Champagne cause it to get absorbed faster in your stomach and into your bloodstream so you get drunk more quickly.

Also, because the Champagne-making process involves two fermentations, it contains more of certain chemicals (called congeners) that make hangovers worse. Guess that’s why we save it for special occasions!

Roshini Raj, M.D., is Health magazine’s medical editor and co-author of “What the Yuck?!.” Board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, Raj is also an assistant professor of medicine at New York University Medical Center and a contributor on the “Today” show.

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

soundoff (663 Responses)
  1. Traumatized Poster

    There I was just reading an Article on CNN's webpage and I thought I would post my opinion but it was deleted...Am I not equal to other readers and posters? am I inferior?Wow.... is my opinion not as good as others? Depression sank in ...Thanks CNN!!!

    November 12, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. ElizardBETH Crowinn Senior Big DOG Medical Gossip Spreader

    **************************************breaking news************************
    ******************************************************************CHAMPAGNE KILLS!!!!!!............

    *****************************************************STAY TUNED********************************

    November 12, 2010 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ozmodius

    The headline read "Why drunk faster on champagne." Hmmm..................that seem don't be english proper!

    November 12, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. David Strejc

    Send this to Allen and Michele...

    November 12, 2010 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. jj

    Mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all...

    November 12, 2010 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. m

    I just got back from an all inclusive resort in Cancun. That included champagne, orange juice, vodka and tomato juice at the breakfast buffet.

    I was surprised to see how many women were making mimosas. Most of them w/ a toddler on their hip.

    Now I know why.

    November 12, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JCizzle

      Ooooh, drunk, vacationing milfs!

      November 13, 2010 at 02:46 | Report abuse |
  7. Trance Doodie

    Wrong Doctir, champagne usually has anywhere from 1-5% less alcohol by content than still wines. Get your facts right.

    November 12, 2010 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Conqui

      Since you want to be picky, YOU ARE WRONG!!. Search internet, you will find that champagne ranges from 8% – 15% alcohol, same range as still wines. And you also need to learn basic math. The difference between 12% alcohol and 10% alcohol is not 2%. The 10% alcohol liquid has 16.7% less alcohol than the 12%. Another show off who only shows off ignorance.

      November 13, 2010 at 04:37 | Report abuse |
    • Todd A

      At Conqui, with all due respect YOU ARE WRONG. Read the post, he says 1-5% by content. Key words here "by content".

      November 13, 2010 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
    • wendell

      That's funny, my wife gets wine all the time and it's 12-13% alcohol. We bought two bottles of Champagne last week and guess what, they are 12% alcohol! I'm sure there are variations but most wine I have purchased is around 12-14%.

      November 13, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  8. Ed.

    This sounds like an idea for a future episode of MythBusters.

    November 12, 2010 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Todd A

    How many people reading and/or posting on this story realize that what most people call Chanpagne is really sparking wine? All Champagnes are sparkling wines but not all sparkling wines are Champagnes. Champagne comes from a specific region in France known as the Champagne region(who'd have thought). It is made with grapes indigenous to that region and is produced using some specific techniques.

    November 13, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WineGuy

      And those native grapes to Champagne are Pinot Noir, Pinot Munier and Chardonnay. The same grapes and the same method of production is used in sparkling wines world wide. Only sparkling wine produced in Champagne can legally be called Champagne.

      November 14, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  10. Antonio

    Don't call the drink champagne. It is a sparkling wine. It can only be called champagne if it is produced in the region of Champagne, France.

    November 13, 2010 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. sowhatwhocares

    Does it matter if it is sparkling wine or champagne? The article is talking about the bubbles which both drinks have. We don't have to be show offs with our SAT like facts...

    November 13, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bob

    I guess it is Ok to abuse Alcohol, no biggy to get drunk and maybe drive or beat your kids.. Alcohol is a dangerous drug. Legal yes, but still a poison and intoxicant.. I am not for bringing back prohibition, cause it does not work, but I am for taking alcohol commercials off the TV.. I believe alcohol is much more dangerous drug than marijuania, but alcohol is legal and advertised as if it were soda.. Who makes these laws??

    November 13, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. john negroski

    they should make champane with crack

    November 13, 2010 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Marc

    I'm sorry, but I'm not buying this untested hypothesis of an explanation. I've seen the weak studies that make the case. Wholly unconvincing.

    November 13, 2010 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. swimmer23

    LEGALIZE CANNABIS in 2012!!! It's the SAFEST psychoactive drug on the planet! Alcohol kills tens of thousands every year and cannabis kills NO ONE. The government doesn't even keep stats on car crashes involving cannabis use because there aren't enough crashes caused by cannabis use to compile stats on them.

    November 14, 2010 at 03:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Kevin

    Utterly and completely wrong.
    While at Ohio State University in the early '90s, I participated in a study exploring this particular urban legend.
    Various "beverages" were made, (specifically screwdrivers and cape-cods) in specific proportions so that they would have the same alchohol content as the champagne.
    1/4 of the subjects were given champagne, 1/4 were given screwdrivers, 1/4 were given cape cods, and the remaining 1/4 (the control group) were given cola with water+non-alchoholic rum flavoring added (tasted like a rum and coke but no booze).
    Subjects were then given the same amount of drink (amount adjusted for body weight) and then tests of logic, cordination and reaction speeds were administered every 10 minutes as well as breathalyzer tests.
    The results showed there was no difference between the alchoholic drinks when it comes to absorption speed, effects on the human body, or blood alchohol levels.
    I have heard since then that we were not the only University to run tests like this that got the same results.
    I find it suprising that a MD would go around perpetuating a urban legend that has been scientifically disproven.

    November 14, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RW

    Actually this is very true. Carbonation and sugar both cause alcohol to be absorbed faster. That is why a Jack & Coke will make you seem to become more drunk, and faster than drinking Jack alone. It is also why sparkling wine / Champagne have the same effect.

    It is taught in classes for alcohol sales licenses – consideration of sugar and carbonation content of beverages when determining level of intoxication / whether or not to sell another drink to the person.

    This will also explain the draft beer hangover / headache. Carbonation (CO2) is used to push beer through the lines – this in turn causes draft beer to be absorbed faster. Spikes in alcohol levels occur and then you have the draft beer headache.

    This could possibly explain why Kevin's university had similar results with all drinks. They [the drinks] all contained something with sugar, carbonation or both.

    November 14, 2010 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Peter

    So, why do the bubbles make the alcohol absorb faster? These two short paragraphs don't really explain very much.

    November 14, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. HayStella

    Lots of science, but as often occurs, missing some basic logic. I can't speak to the bubbles and thus will take their word on it. I think most folks perception of "getting drunk faster" with Champagne (or sparkling wine) is simple because this is a drink that is often server earlier at parties, and usually without a lot of food to go along with it. Lets face it, those of us that do indulge, all know that they can put a few more away if they are combining it with a full meal. I just think the basic consumption habits around Champagne lean towards folks feeling more tipsy quicker.

    November 14, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Champagne

    When serving Champagne at informal gatherings such as barbecues, disposable plastic Champagne flutes might be a good option. There are many designs available at very attractive prices.

    September 12, 2012 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. BS

    I call BS on this article!!! 1) Beer has bubles too, 2) There are some beers that go all the way into 50% alcohol content by volume, 3) We have yet to see a study that actually proves the BS "claim" that "it's because of the bubbles!"

    February 12, 2014 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. champ drinker

    Uhhh yea i drink champagne everyday only had 1 hangover because I bought a bottle of cooks which went flat almost immediately after I opened it

    May 27, 2015 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. detectives privados tres cantos

    detectives privados benalmádena


    December 11, 2020 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Alina Abdula

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be using? I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest site and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?


    December 20, 2020 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. earn passive income in 2021

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – 100 FREE Multi-Tier Traffic Built In. More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC


    December 26, 2020 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Romana Torrecillas

    Thanks so much the information. I love sucking dick btw hmu


    January 3, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Herschel Hamson

    Thanks so much the information. I love sucking dick btw hmu


    January 5, 2021 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Evelyne Dittmann

    Thanks so much the information. I love sucking dick btw hmu


    January 7, 2021 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Cyrus Louchen

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve gotten hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is one thing that not sufficient individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very pleased that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing referring to this.


    January 11, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Amirykal

    Researchers, who collaborated with a gastroenterologist at Epsom General Hospital in Surrey, could not say why champagne gets you drunk more quickly.

    January 12, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Genesis Aly

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 22, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Malorie Henig

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 26, 2021 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Aurelio Steer

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers


    January 27, 2021 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mercedes Josic

    Very well written information. It will be valuable to anyone who employess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep up the good work – looking forward to more posts.


    January 28, 2021 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Buy Cheap Social Subscribers

    Really nice design and excellent articles, nothing else we need : D.


    February 1, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 4, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rod Wolfgram

    Earn $1000/Day With Our Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021


    February 5, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...


    February 5, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Drive-20000 Google-Organic-Visitors

    Create a profitable digital marketing strategy and plan: https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan


    February 16, 2021 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 10vina.com

    I'm not sure why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.


    February 19, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Pablo Lynaugh

    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any recommendations?


    March 1, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. ClarkTauts

    tzt31 t016q l0il

    March 1, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Kyung Mettert

    Very nice layout and good subject material , nothing at all else we require : D.


    March 4, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Shana Bagnoli

    Merely wanna remark that you have a very decent site, I love the style and design it actually stands out.


    March 6, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. https://918kiss-m.com/live22/

    Awesome site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover
    the same topics talked about here? I'd really love
    to be a part of community where I can get comments from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

    Feel free to surf to my homepage live222 apk (https://918kiss-m.com/live22/)

    April 4, 2021 at 05:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. ช่างกุญแจใกล้ฉัน

    Hi there! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up
    for the great info you have got here on this post.

    I am coming back to your site for more soon.

    April 5, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. live222 apk

    Howdy! This post couldn't be written any better!

    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him.
    Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Here is my homepage live222 apk

    April 5, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. live22 Download Ios

    I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my
    own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up?
    I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

    I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% sure. Any recommendations or advice would be
    greatly appreciated. Appreciate it

    Have a look at my web page ... live22 Download Ios

    April 9, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 918kiss plus malaysia

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I to find
    It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I'm hoping to
    give one thing back and aid others such as you helped me.

    My web page – 918kiss plus malaysia

    April 12, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. epicwin test id

    Simply want to say your article is as astounding.
    The clarity in your post is simply excellent and i can assume you
    are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me
    to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable

    my webpage epicwin test id

    April 13, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

November 2010
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.