Her name is Florence Bearse. She lives in Bangor, Maine. She just turned 100. And she swears by her wine habit.
"Oh, I like my wine," she told local TV station WLBZ. "Don't take it away from me."
This endearing woman used to work in the food industry, running her own restaurant in Lagrange, Maine. She recently celebrated her birthday surrounded by friends, balloons, and glasses of fine red vino. Now she lives with other retirees at the Westgate Center for Rehabilitation, and is reportedly known for a lively sense of humor and a distaste for bullshit. In her phrasing: "Don't take no bologna."
She's big on wine, though. Bearse calls it her secret to a long, happy life, and is far from the only centenarian to spin a commonly accepted vice into health advice. For Ruth Benjamin, 109, of Marshall, Illinois, it was bacon. Mariano "Pops" Rotelli, 107, of Newnan, Georgia, liked his whiskey. And Mildred Bowers, 103, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, would say: "Have a beer."
For what it's worth, science has shown moderate drinking to be good for you, and wine in particular has specific health benefits associated with it, from reducing the risks of strokes to the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. Red wine in particular is known for its antioxidants and other chemicals that can be good for your heart.
So go ahead, have that glass of wine at dinner tonight, and toast to Florence's health. She's earned it.