Actress/singer Lea Michele credits her Italian upbringing with helping her to avoid the temptations of underage boozing, because she tasted her first drop of wine as a toddler.
The Glee star details her childhood in her new memoir, Brunette Ambition, revealing her parents thought nothing of introducing their kids to wine at a young age as it was always part of their traditional family dinner.
Discussing her early introduction to alcohol with U.S. talk show host Chelsea Handler, she explains, "I'm Italian, so it was like, at the dinner table it would be Pellegrino (sparkling mineral water), a jug of soda, and a huge thing of wine. So, everyone was just drinking wine, like it was part of... what you would have along with your dinner."
However, Michele admits her penchant for a glass of wine at dinner did cause some issues as a teen as the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21.
She says, "Growing up, I'd be having dinner with my boyfriend and his parents, and I'd be like, 'Where's the wine? Pass the wine.' At like, 17, and they were like, 'This girl's crazy.'"
But the actress insists she never consumed wine to get drunk and she is convinced her family's lax attitude to alcohol benefited her in the long run: "When they make it so you can have it, then you don't want it. It's when they're like, 'You can't have this,' kids are like, 'We gotta get that booze.'"