What wine will get me the most screwed-up the fastest?
I have gotten this question more often than you might think and the answer might be surprising. One’s first reaction is to answer "the wine with the highest alcohol content", right? After all, it’s the alcohol that gets you drunk, so more would be better.
Well, actually it’s the rate at which your consumption of alcohol exceeds your body’s ability to metabolize it that makes you drunk. So, it stands to reason then that the combination of alcohol plus drinkability yields the answer. No matter what the alcohol, if a wine is tough to drink, you’re not going to get drunk quickly.
Of course, Champagne, or sparkling wine, is the best answer here. Not because it’s particularly high in alcohol (most average around 12.5%), nor because of its drinkability (I find the bubbles slow me down), but rather because of those bubbles! Studies have shown that the CO2 in sparkling wine speeds up the absorption of alcohol into one's blood stream. Maybe it’s the pressure created in the stomach and intestines. I’m not sure, but repeated studies have verified this.