festive wine tips

10 Tips and Tricks How Not to Blame The Wine This Christmas

Are you getting ready to over indulge with wine this Christmas? With alcohol and wine in particular there is always that creeping feeling of ‘how would I fell tomorrow morning?’
Yet it has never stopped anyone from enjoying themselves and the company. It is a time to be merry after all. It is also very pleasant to share a few exceptional wines and celebrate life.

mindful

Don’t we just sometimes sip too quickly. After a few large glasses the bottle is empty and we do not remember how that wine tasted like.. We then pour more because we want more flavour. This happens because we do it without a break. We multi-task and forget to savour the moment. If you notice aromas, savour the flavour and maybe even discuss it, you will enhance your sensory pleasure. There is nothing snobbish about sharing your own experience and exchanging views and taste sensations. Next time you have a glass of some fabulous wine, don’t forget to simply savour a sip. Try to imagine what kind of fruit it smells or taste of. We do have more receptors in our nose than mouth. It is recommended to have a swirl and sniff these wonderful aromas. Your palate will just re-confirm your findings.

lower alcohol

I don’t know if it is global warming that causes the grapes to ripen more, accumulate more sugars and subsequently shoot up alcohol strength. Yet it is obvious that we now have red wines of 15.5% or even 16% and they are very strong. I have even come across a very rich white wine of 15.5% abv! It may taste lighter, but the strength is there. If you want a safer option, opt for lower abv wines. You can easily find 12% whites and 13% reds that won’t make you tipsy after one small glass.

organic

Organic wine is a good place to start because you won’t consume any artificial pesticides or herbicides that conventional wine have in abundance. On top of that there is a regulation that limits the amounts of sugars or sulphites, so you are getting a better wine anyways.

natural

Natural wine is not a regulated term so many people use it rather freely and it creates confusion. Common understanding is that natural wines are made with no or minimal intervention in the winery and it means no excessive additives, sulphites and other flavour adjustments.

watch out for sugars

Sugar was named as a public health enemy number one and it is no wonder why. It triggers inflammation and other diseases, but also dense in calories. Many people should stay away from wines that contain high levels of residual sugar as it might trigger a worse morning after feeling. Opt for organic wines, they are fermented to dryness. Read labels or tasting notes for sparkling wines. They are the ones that contain the most of residual sugar. Good options for the latter would be to opt for Brut Nature or Dosage 0 wines, they will have the minimal amounts. Wines up until Brut category will have less than 12 g of residual sugar.

watch out for sulphites

Sulphites are present in every wine in tiny quantities as a result of fermentation. However big winemaking companies need to add a lot of them to mask the flaws. They can occur as a result of mechanical harvesting (tractors and machines to shake the grapes and collect them leave the fruit torn and full of bacteria). Industrial vinification (adding sulphites for additional protection from spoilage at the large processing vats) also assumes sulphites usage. It clearly shows that if this all done the other way around – manually, carefully and in a very hygienic way. Sulphites are responsible for those extra painful mornings after. Many people report on having much lighter or no ill effects at all when they opt for no added sulphites wines. Good sources of natural wines made without excessive sulphites are: WineSulphites.com (nice 10% off welcome offer) and OrganicWineClub.co.uk (sign up for their newsletter to get £8 off orders over £50 or use our exclusive offer to save £20 off orders over £99!)

watch out for tannins

Tannins are a natural component that is present in grape skins. Apart from the fact that it has positive effect on wines, it is also a known histamine. It means that some people could be allergic to it. It doesn’t trigger severe reactions like sulphites do, but still if you know you are allergic, it is better to opt for white wines produced without skin contact. Some black grape varieties are also low in tannins, so it would be OK for you to have a glass of rose or red made of Pinot Noir, Cinsault or in some instances Grenache or Tempranillo.

foods: dos and don’ts

It is not a post about wine and food pairing, but rather few recommendations how to help your liver, digestive and immune system to cope with some stress from alcohol.
Good additions to your cooking or table: very good quality olive oil, garlic, green vegetables, citrus, beetroot, sweet potatoes.
Something to avoid: fruit and don’t be surprised, your liver will work even harder to break down fructose, so don’t make it work twice as much. Similarly any type of refined sugar will add unnecessary stress.

supplements (charcoal, glutathione, B complex)

We should aim to get enough nutrients from food, however with the goal to balance the effects of alcohol, it can be problematic sometimes. You can supplement your food and sometimes drinking.
What’s great to have handy: vitamin B complex (alcohol depletes B1 and B9 vitamins so having a good quality supplement will be great). Glutathione is something that will greatly help you liver. In fact, a few Australian winemakers even suggested adding this to wine.
Don’t be alarmed by charcoal. Have a regular capsule per each glass of wine. It will help to absorb toxins and make your digestive system work better. Some authors recommend supplementing with charcoal before or during drinking so it works well for your body. Do not exceed the stated dose please.
I use Innopure for activated charcoal and vitamin B complex and Biocare for glutathione.

water

Finally, something really obvious. Alcohol de-hydrates us, so have a jug of water handy and always ask for a glass of water in a bar each time you re-order wine!

This is a non-exhaustive list. I will be delighted to hear from fellow community members about some more tips and tricks how not to blame the wine and live a healthier lifestyle!

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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