What to buy or avoid - February 2016 - I Blame The Wine
chocolate sugar wine champagne treats

What to buy or avoid – February 2016

For many of us February is a month of chocolate and bubbles, so it is all about sugar. These former two products are definitely making us happier, yet are they healthy? They’re probably not, so the question is whether they could be healthier?

Sugar and bubbles

If you want to know more about different types of sparkling wines, including Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and Asti – head to our Festive Fizz article here. Champagne and other sparkling wines could bring a lot of sugar content that will be almost unnoticeable by you. Even bottles marked Brut will contain sugars that were added to make those wines more palatable. Think about buying Brut Nature if you want to minimise your sugar intake.

Do you need to stock up some bubbly? No problem at all. After a very careful search, I think you would be better off either with ordering online at Waitrose Cellar, or if you are going for a case of something more unique and special then why not trying an underdog Perfect Cellar?

Waitrose will offer up to 30% off individual selected bottles of sparkling wines and some well known brands of Champagne, whilst Perfect Cellar will offer £50 off your case when you signup for a subscription plan (you will get a special code when you signup to their newsletter). That is a great deal! If you are not sure whether their wine club is for you now, but still want to order from them, use the link above to get £12 off your first order of £50 or more!

If you want to explore other options then have a look at our review to compare the deals and delivery charges – we have a list of top 15 wine retailers.

Sugar in sparkling wines and especially in Champagne can be a problem long term if you think about a relationship between your health and wine. You are in the know what to do. I do not say you do not deserve a treat, but it comes with a bit of a price (in sugar content).

Chocolate is another typical to Valentine’s Day treat.

Cocoa beans also have a lot of health contributing qualities and, I did not know that on my trip to Mexico, Maya were using them as a currency. Yet I prefer my chocolate dark, without dairy and also without refined sugars. I went on to search for exactly that.

One of the obvious options is Planet Organic – they stock a few hundred types of chocolate, including raw. They run a promotion now: you can get a free delivery if you spend more than £50, or a free cloth carry bag if you spend more than £60 or get £10 off your £100 shop or more. A few options depending what you plan to buy there. If you want to complement your gift with wine, head on to our Top Organic Wines list to find out more with wines are truly best and where to buy them. Planet Organic is featured both on our best and worst wine lists, so be careful what you’re buying.

Yet I was still not satisfied with the absence of sugar free chocolate, so my search drew me to Holland and Barrett. They sell Freest dark chocolate made without sugar and also gluten free! 75 g bar will cost you £1.85, so you can definitely afford to sample it. My chocolate mission was complete.

Cannot be bothered with another celebration? Feeling it is too much?

On top of all this I want to add that the festivities could be overwhelming. Single people can be feeling extra lonely on Valentine’s, married couple stress out much about the presents and what to do on that day. No stress please! Stress is proven to drive a bunch of truly undesirable conditions ranging from migraines, high blood pressure and can ultimately cause damage to your brain and lead to Alzheimer’s – nobody wants that!

To help you on the journey to a life that has less stress, you can start with two simple things: exercise and meditation. They both regulate cortisol that is causing all that badness. Head on to your nearest gym, go for a run or simply walk for at least 10000 steps a day and you would be much better off! Meditation could be a word that you fear – how can one simply sit and do nothing for a prolonged time? Yet fear not, there are tools that could help you to try meditation and help to achieve a more relaxed state of mind and body. I personally prefer Headspace.com, where you can start by signing up for a free 10 meditation sessions. I use it for more than a year and when it becomes your habit, you really see the difference. Another similar tool is Calm – you can find a book with the same name, but also an app. They have a special loving kind meditation that is especially relevant for this Valentine’s – why not to try it now?

Also I have launched my own non-profit that is dedicated to cultivating one’s inner peace through meditation. Please visit Ahimsa Meditation to find out more and learn how to meditate or develop your practice.

Just one more thing I wanted to share with you all – for those affected by stress or just a bit too much anxiety, Holland and Barrett prepared a special Sleep bundle, so you can use essential oils, bath milk, valerian and magnesium capsules to aid your relaxation and get a wonderful sleep.

chocolate sugar wine champagne treats

Get clarity and Avoid sugar

I truly hope you are excited about trying any of the above mentioned retailers or health apps. The theme of this monthly review was to help you reduce your sugar intake, so that is my ingredient to avoid for you. Please let me know what do you think about any of them either below on our wine community Forum.
Join us to discuss any wine and health related issues – subscribe with either your email or via a social network to get more exclusive guides and e-books on wine tasting. Cheers!    

About The Author


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.