Long ago I gave up New Year’s Resolutions as I hate failing. My sister used to give up chocolate for a year and I’d only manage a couple of days before caving in and finishing all the leftover Quality Streets. It made me wonder how I can integrate common lifestyle declarations into my love for wine; making them more feasible, more delicious and destined to make me succeed?
According to Time magazine these are the most popular New Year’s resolutions;
1. Diet or eat healthier (71 percent)
2. Exercise more (65 percent)
4. Save more and spend less (32 percent)
5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26 percent)
6. Quit smoking (21 percent)
7. Read more (17 percent)
8. Spend more time with family and friends (13 percent)
Do these sound familiar? They are all great but are they actually achievable? How long will they last? If we added wine to the equation I think we could make 2020 the best year in our wine drinking career?!
Winesolution 1 – drink more red wine and reap the health benefits!
If you would like to lose weight and be healthier in 2020, don’t give up drinking wine yet. There is a common perception that alcohol makes you fat. But not if you moderate it. In fact a study out of Washington State University from July 2015 showed that wine and weight loss can go hand in hand, thanks to a substance called resveratrol . The compound which is found in red wine was shown to convert “white fat” into “beige fat” which is easier to burn off. Resveratrol can also improve physical performance, muscle strength and maintain a healthy heart. It could mimic exercise for you or improve the benefits of the modest amount of exercise you do. So that is the first three of our resolution list crossed off! We’re wine-ing already 🙂
Winesolution 2 – save money – drink better!
There are lots of ways we can cut costs and still keep our wine glass full. The internet is a great place to start. Many online retailers offer great deals on wines. The wines are still great quality; the producers may have extra stock from an overseas deal that fell through, so they sell it to an online merchant for a great price and they pass that discount onto you, the consumer.
Buying directly from the farm is also cheaper than buying wine at your local supermarket or liquor store. So take a drive to your favourite winery and fill up the winebulance!
Seek advice. Your boutique wine shops have extremely knowledgable staff, and even though they look fancy they also have extremely good value wines which have been tasted and hand selected by the store’s owner. Tell them what you are looking for and how much you want to spend. You’ll be surprised how little you can pay for a great wine.
Winesolution 3 – Learn More about wine
Wine counts as a hobby right? So many people complain they know nothing about wine. Wine is a huge subject. And you can delve into it as much or as little as you like. But the more you learn and understand wine the more enjoyable it becomes; and enjoyment is the ultimate goal isn’t it. The best way to learn anything is by practice. Practise tasting wine? That doesn’t sound like too much hard work, right? Did you know that many of your local boutique wines shops and liquor stores offer regular free wine tasting. Hunt them out, and taste new wines and ask the wine farm’s representative as many questions as you like, that’s what they are there for! And remember there are no dumb questions! If you are lucky enough to live near winelands then take advantage and visit the farms and taste all the wine and ask all the questions. You’ll be a wine aficionado in no time! Buy the John Platters Guide to chaperon your wine journey.
Winesolution 4 – Breathe and Let your wine breathe too
Unfortunately alcohol and cigarettes make a pretty good match – so I won’t pretend drinking wine will help you quit smoking. So lets digress… Smoking is driven by stress – stay with me here – we all need to stop and breathe sometimes. Have some ‘me’ time. At the end of the day when you come home hating life, ready to quit your job, break up with your partner; stop pour a glass of your favourite wine, put your feet up and breathe. That is what Kevin Grant believes is one of wine’s purposes, and hence why he named his brand ‘Ataraxia‘ – which is a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety.
While we are on the subject of breathing, let your wine breathe too. You don’t need a fancy decanter; a water jug will do. And the wine doesn’t need to be as old as you to benefit from decanting. Adding oxygen to the wine by pouring it from the bottle into another vessel allows the wine to express itself. Decanting younger wines assists them to open up and reach their potential. Red wines will become smoother and fruitier and tannins more tangible.
Winesolution 5 – Read More
This aligns with our Winesolution 3; when you wish to learn about a subject reading will support your hard work of wine tasting. Not all wine books are heavy in academia – there are now some really approachable, fun books on the subject. Here are some of my suggestions to get you started;
Wine Folly – The Essential Guide To Wine by Madeline Puckette & Justin Hammack “The best introductory book on wine to come along in years” (The Washington Post) from the creators of the award-winning winefolly.com
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste by Bianca Bosker. “With boundless curiosity, humour and a healthy dose of scepticism, Bosker takes the reader inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, mass-market wine factories and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: what’s the big deal about wine?”
Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking. “A fresh, fun, and unpretentious guide to wine from Marissa A. Ross, official wine columnist for Bon Appétit.”
Winesolution 6 – Wine is best enjoyed in good company
There is a time and a place to drink wine alone, but doing it too often is called alcoholism 😉 Wine really is best enjoyed with friends and family. Its a sociable hobby; FACT the wine tastes better surrounded by the best people in your life. So why not start a wine club or a wine tasting society; heck even a book club (we all know that no one actually reads books in book clubs – its all about the wine!). Whats the point of enjoying great wine if you have no one to appreciate it with? “drinking wine with good food in good company is one of life’s most civilised pleasures” – Michael Broadbent
So there we go, if your New Year’s Resolution is already weighing on your conscious and feeling unobtainable; now the festive season is over and reality and routine is coming back into your life – quick there is time to make a quick edit, cut and paste. Let me know which of these winesolutions appeal to you and how you get on. Cheers to a winederful 2020, enjoy it with the best people and the best wine.