Beyond Dryuary

January is the time for fresh starts, new awakenings and for some, changes to their wine consumption.  One such change that is popular is planning a “Dryuary”.  The concept behind “Dryuary” is simple; followers take a break from alcohol consumption on the month of January as a sort of reset on the year.  With all the indulgences we take over the holidays, it can be a good way to revisit and refocus our consumption habits.  However, the issue that often comes about with abstaining from anything really is that it takes more than willpower due to the power of our habits and it often leads to people over indulging later on.  If your Dryuary is over or you’re simply looking at cutting back, consider these tips for a more healthful wine lifestyle:

  1. Mindful Consumption. Rather than simply abstaining from wine one month a year, the approach of mindful consumption can be a more sustainable alternative. Simply put, you focus on your intake and consume wine when you’re paying attention to it.  You minimize chugging a glass or two while doom-scrolling on your phone or staring at the TV.  This allows you to enjoy your wine fully.  I think of it like ‘ice cream’- a little can go a long way if you slowly enjoy it.
  2. Low calorie/low alcohol alternatives. Many popular brands are releasing wines that fit the parameters of lower calorie and low alcohol.  Cupcake Vineyards ‘Light-Hearted’ line of wine is one such option.  By choosing grapes from warmer regions and picking earlier than traditional wines, winemaker Jessica Tomei is able to craft lower alcohol wines.  With each glass at around 80 calories and 8% alcohol, it can be a good middle ground to enjoying your wine.  In a recent tasting, I tried three different wines and while the Rosé was my favorite the Chardonnay was a close second.  Both showed stylistic character (meaning they taste the way you’d expect) and were easy to enjoy.
  3. Make it fizzy. Wine spritzers work well as a way to enjoy a refreshing glass of white or rosé wine. Simply add unflavored sparkling water to your favorite white or rosé and voila, you’ve cut down the calories and the alcohol content. In fact, a 12-ounce Coors light has 104 calories.  If you craft a 12-ounce wine spritzer that’s 1/2 wine and 1/2 club soda, you’re close to the same caloric content.

For many, wine can be an enjoyable pastime and not derail your healthy lifestyle.  But, just like anything, moderation is key. Salud!