I was raised by an alcoholic mother, and I grew up pouring bottles and bottles of alcohol down the drain hoping it would make things stop. Seeing a bottle of wine in my space, or being expected to react to it with appreciation, is pretty difficult.
I wrote for Brit+Co about why we need to stop giving alcohol as a gift without knowing it will be welcome:
It’s hard to say which is a worse stress during the holiday season: buying gifts for people we know really well, or buying gifts for people we hardly know at all. While it doesn’t run the emotional risk as trying to find something your mom might actually like this year, it can also be overwhelming to try to figure out what to give your hairdresser, or your kid’s teacher or your mail carrier.
It’s not surprising seeing those comments, because there is absolutely an assumption that alcohol is at worst a neutral force in our culture. But it’s worth spending some time pulling apart all the different reasons that is not everyone’s experience.