As a wine writer, sometimes it’s good to take a break, regroup, refocus, and start again. I thought perhaps my liver might need a break from all the holiday and New Year celebrations, so my husband, the future doctor, came up with the brilliant idea of abstaining from alcohol for a month. My brother and his girlfriend also joined in, and soon it became this month of cleansing, not just from alcohol but also from gluten, solid food, sugar, coffee, and dairy products.
If you are like most people, one thing at a time might be the only way to do this, but then there are those superhumans who manage to abstain for everything all at once, such as taking on the Paleo diet.
I honestly tried. I bought a book called Primal Blueprint, which seemed really interesting and offers a 21-day plan for following the Paleo Diet. Honestly, I picked it up, put it down, and carried it around, and it is still in the same bag I got it from. I have a hard time imagining giving up my coffee, sugar, and milk that I drink every single morning. I don’t see why I should give up my oatmeal when I know it is heart-healthy. Perhaps I could eat less bread, but I love bread.
So this brings to me to the only thing I have been trying to do, and amazingly, I did succeed at it—at taking a break from alcohol. Yes, all forms: wine, beer, cider, and cocktails. Cocktails aren’t something I’ve touched since I became 21, but Oregon is known for its amazing breweries, cider houses, and wineries. It’s a very hard thing to avoid when on every single corner of Portland there are amazing craft brew houses and urban wineries—not to mention the fact that I work at a winery.
The first few days were excruciating, unimaginable in terms of breaking a habit formed over time. I love coming home after work to enjoy a glass of wine that transports me to a place in my memories or a wine that sings with food. However, by day three, it was ok. I replaced alcoholic drinks with sparkling water, and with that I’ve been relatively fine ever since….that is, until I was a part of a beautiful VIP tour and was re-tasting our wines, and I realized just how tasty they were! Nevertheless, I managed to spit the wine out, as a professional always does. Some were hard to spit, but it was, and is, possible—and for me, taking this break has been great on my budget, waistline, and liver.
I am, however, looking forward to opening that first new bottle of wine. Now I just have to decide which one it will be! From Washington reds to Chiantis from Italy, to Spanish Tempranillos, and of course, Oregon Pinots, I’m not sure where to start.
I think I’d like to do a tour of the world through wines. Stay tuned for this fun future series!