I don't know if I can explain this or if I even understand the connection with the two, but here is my understanding on drinking alcohol and HRT.
When you have a drink of alcohol it raises your estrogen levels almost immediately. The sudden changes in your levels can cause symptoms such as hot flashes or even swelling due to the big fluctuations in levels. I think the swelling may be from the abundance of estrogen when the levels get high.
When you consume alcohol it increases your estrogen absorbtion and your estrogen will be used up much quicker. That could explain why your levels were low the day after you had a couple glasses of wine.
I had problems in the beginning getting my levels balanced. I do occasionally enjoy drinking wine and I never put the two together until I read the article. I would start out doing just fine and then have horrendous breakthrough hot flashes. I would call the doctor and tell him I was having signs of low estrogen (hot flashes) so we would raise the dose and start all over again. I had a very hard time finding a dose that would work for me because I thought I was not getting enough...when actually I was having sudden changes in my estrogen levels.
Once I put the two together...I avoided all alcohol to find a dose I felt good on. Now if I decide to have a drink or two, I know what to expect. I will have a big fluctuations in my estrogen levels and it can take a couple of days to get things back on tract.
I have heard that they make flavored troches. Have you asked your pharmacist if he can make them up in a yummy flavor for you. I believe I read they come in kahlua flavor.
I hope some of this makes sense and if not maybe someone with some more advice can add to it.