It’s easy, in the wine trade, to slip into unhealthy drinking patterns. We are constantly surrounded by delicious, interesting, and often free, wine. However, overindulging in alcohol is not conducive to a 5:00 alarm followed by two hours of rigorous study and a gym visit. Nor does it help with the anxiety that frequently troubles me as the pressure builds. So, the first of my New Year’s Resolutions is to drink less – but better. A glass of something totally delicious, with dinner, and at least three dry days a week. My spittoon will be getting a lot more action in 2023, but I’m sure I’ll feel all the better for it.
In pursuit of this goal, I will be stocking up on my favourite alcohol-free options. I’m afraid I have yet to find an alcohol-free wine that I’d fancy drinking. Instead, I’ll be going for some Lucky Saint (my current favourite non-alcoholic beer), cans of cheap Sainsbury’s Ginger Beer (make it fancy with ice, mint, and a twist of lime). I have also really enjoyed Martini’s ‘Vibrante’ Non-Alcoholic Aperitivo which, when mixed with soda or tonic, makes a delicious pre-dinner drink which scratches that Campari itch. I also thank my colleague Manda for introducing me to tonic water with a dash of celery bitters, which makes a suitably ‘grown-up’ feeling aperitivo which will not break my New Year’s resolution.
All of this abstinence will merit a reward. When I indulge, it will be with something delicious. White Burgundy with Roast Chicken. Chianti with Pappardelle alla Bolognese. Champagne with Fish & Chips.
Although, as exam season approaches and every glass of wine becomes a revision opportunity, I anticipate the perfect pairings described above will go out of the window. Instead, I shall be treating myself with what is possibly the world’s greatest food and drink combination: a beer and a curry.