If you hear wine drinkers boast that they generally live longer than teetotalers, pay no heed. It's just the alcohol talking.
The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine has warned that drinking moderate amounts of red wine - or any kind of alcoholic beverage for that matter - does not translate to overall better health.
Wine drinkers may have lower heart disease and diabetes rates, the academy added, but the harmful effects of alcohol will wipe out these health benefits in the long run.
"There is a flawed concept that drinking in moderation is good," said Li Chung-ki, president of the Hong Kong College of Physicians. "That's not true as it is risky to drink even a small amount due to the significant health impact of alcohol."
He said alcohol consumption is closely linked to more than 60 diseases, including hypertension, stroke and various cancers.
Mak Sin-ping, president of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine, said there is no such thing as moderate drinking as "you put your health at risk every time you take a sip."
Statistics from the Health Department show that the prevalence of drinking among adults in Hong Kong rose from 30.9 percent to 34.9 percent from 2005 to 2010, partly due to increased red wine consumption.
Mak hopes it won't rise further, saying: "People should try to drink as little as possible. And if you do not have the habit, then don't start."