Centenarian Julia Iverson will sometimes request a glass as early as 7:30 a.m., caretakers say.
Advertisement
Red wine pours into a glass from a bottle
Credit: Getty Images

No one truly knows the secret to living a long life. (Juan Ponce de Leon potentially excluded.) But if you keep up with the news, you might have some guesses. Over the years, centenarians have credited their longevity to everything from Big Macs to a steady mix of Miller High Life and Johnnie Walker.

Ostensibly, healthy stuff is sometimes mentioned, too, but that boring drivel never grabs any headlines. It's classic confirmation bias: We want to believe our own questionable habits may keep us going for over 100 years. And so, assuming a large percentage of Food & Wine readers indeed like to indulge in the latter, here's anecdotal evidence from another 108-year-old Brit that we'll all be living a long time: On her recent birthday, she said the key to her age was red wine.

Julia Iverson — currently living at the Brampton Lodge care home in Warrington, Cheshire — was born in 1914, and though it's easy to point out that she survived both World Wars, on a more topical note, the BBC writes that she lived through the Spanish flu of 1918 and has now brushed off testing positive for COVID twice.

But according to the local Warrington Guardian, the true secret to her longevity is enjoying at least one glass of red wine every day (as well as saying your prayers).

Her favorite varieties are reportedly Merlot and Rioja. (In a photo from the event, you can spot a bottle of Campo Viejo.) And her carers have joked that the great grandmother can tell if they try to water her vino down.

Additionally, when you've blown past 100, it's apparently never too early to start drinking. "Julia loves a glass of red wine every day, sometimes at 7:30am in the morning," Debbie Davison, manager of Brampton Lodge, told the paper, "but that doesn't matter to her as she's a firm believer that a glass of red has kept her going to make it to the ripe old age of 108."

Despite her penchant for booze, her health is said to be impeccable. "It doesn't seem like she is actually 108," Julia's daughter, Rosalind Barclay, was quoted as saying. "She is so fit and strong, you forget she is that age. She has a lovely head of hair and lovely skin. She is also very strong — she can push herself around in her armchair."

And though red wine got all the credit, Iverson apparently has a couple other favorite snacks as well: namely, cups of tea and snack-pots of custard. So if you're aiming to get to 108, feel free to consume all three just to be on the safe side.