Vintage dieting


America's preoccupation with fitness has produced some jarring contradictions -- light cheesecake and light beef, diet ice cream and low-calorie Twinkies. So it probably could have been expected: Taylor California Cellars is now marketing a diet Chablis, which has 50 percent fewer calories than the real stuff, and 70 percent less alcohol.

The new wine is supposed to appeal to men and women who don't usually drink alcohol but are a tad uncomfortable ordering a diet Coke with scampi. But it will, undoubtedly, be a smash hit among joggers and fiber-eaters as well.

For those among us who still enjoy a glass of rich Burgundy with a thick steak, there is some sadness in recognizing that the experience is becoming passe -- or, in the current lexicon, politically incorrect. Moreover, if the Monterey County winery is successful, there's no telling what might come next in the American quest for the ultimate low-calorie experience. But we have an idea -- a drink that contains absolutely no calories, no sugar, not a gram of fat, that is refreshing yet fizz-free, caffeine-free, cholesterol-free and contains no artificial colors or flavors. In the true spirit of yuppification, it will probably be marketed under the name: "H-Two-Oh!"

More commonly known as water.

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