Drinking Alone

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Personally, I never pass up an opportunity to enjoy a good bottle of wine.  Whether I’m out at dinner with friends, kicking back at home with bae, or heating up leftovers alone.

There’s a strange taboo about consuming alcohol alone.  Some believe it increases the likelihood of alcoholism.  My opinion is it’s not drinking alone that get you in trouble, it’s drinking too much.

Overindulgence of any single thing is hardly ever good, so it’s always important to know your limits.  Make sure you know when to stop.

I typically have a glass while cooking, and that can kick up a serious buzz by the time dinner’s ready.  I take care to pace myself during and after dinner so I can still enjoy the rest of the night aware of myself and my surroundings.  Even when relaxing at home, I can’t help but pair my wine with a light snack like a rich piece of chocolate or even some fruit so I don’t get too drunk too fast. Honestly, for me, pairing my wines is one of my favorite ways to experience it, so it’s a regular habit of mine.

Sometimes, after a long day, I like to unwind with a glass.  I’m also careful not to chase my feelings with wine, as that’s never the best way to solve that problem.  I prefer to journal, until I’m a bit more relaxed, then cap it off with a glass of my favorite stuff while cuddling up on the couch with my favorite TV show.  It helps me sort things out and not get all foggy headed while still having a problem to solve.

If you or someone you love is suffering with drinking too much or inappropriately, please feel free to seek help by clicking here for more information.

So today, I had wine with my breakfast.

And I’ve never felt more free.

About a month ago, my car got repossessed. It took a lot of work and stress to get it back.  I was all set, with a new part time job alongside my full time job to get things back on track.  I made plans payment arrangements, budgets.  I had entire workbooks filled with my future.

Then, this past Tuesday, I was involved in a car accident.  All parties involved made it out alive and in one piece, but somehow the brand new car I haven’t even owned for a year yet was totaled.

All wasn’t lost, but it’s gonna take a bit of waiting before I get off this new detour.

Needless to say, life is different for the moment.

Still, I feel like things are still on the up and up.  I’m working my way toward financial freedom (ask me how), I can see the horizon, and it’s super bright.  I realized I’ve worked this hard all this time just to get more stuff, when all I really want is the freedom to enjoy the “stuff.”

Freedom to enjoy my life.

Freedom to enjoy my family.

I got out of bed and went to the kitchen to make breakfast.  I made eggs and toast for my son, and was about to make the same for myself when I remembered I had some BBQ chicken in the fridge from the other day.  I decided to make that with my eggs, and in feeling so free I wondered what was stopping me from having a nice glass of red with my breakfast.

Not a damn thing.

So I squirted my eggs with some sriacha (I might be obsessed), shredded some chicken beside it, poured me a glass, and enjoyed the beginning of my new life.

A life of freedom.

The Key to Enjoying Wine


When it comes to enjoying anything, the best things about it are completely up to you.  Some people enjoy wine for the sensory experience, some for the buzz, some for the connections you make while enjoying it with friends.  Whatever you make it about, always remember that the major key to enjoying wine is to have an open mind.

Enjoyable flavors vary from culture to culture, and what you may be used to may be hard to find in even the finest of wines.  For example, most people enjoy drinks that are sweet, and expect that since wine comes from grapes, it should be  sweet in every instance.  Sweet wines are only a fraction of what’s out there, and don’t always fit every occasion.  Some meals are well-complimented by something dry (which means not-sweet), earthy, or even spicy.

Enjoying the many flavors and aromas in wine may require some retraining of the palate.  Like I mentioned, you may be accustomed to certain flavor profiles and wine might not fit within that.  All the more reasons to start new adventures!  Your best way to start retraining the palate is to keep an open mind about what you expect wine to taste like.  What helped me tons along the way was just getting out there and trying new things.  The reading I’ve done (Including this scratch and sniff book I found, lol) was a great start.

After a while, reading about flavors was confusing without engaging my sense of taste.  Once I got my hands on some of the good stuff, I did what I read the pros do: swirled it around in my glass, sniffing for aromas, I took my time tasting and really reflecting on what came through on my palate, and I even had fun with pairing with foods I enjoyed, to see if it was indeed a good match.

There’s a whole world out there to discover drinking wine, especially if it’s something new to you.  The best place to start is in a glass!

#ThirstyTuesdays at the Greene Grape

The name and packaging go together, which is fun, if you’re into 40 oz’s *Jay-Z cringe*

In either case, it’s worth it.  Yummy light flavors of watermelon and juicy red fruits with a bit of tartness that makes you want to take it to the head.  Not a sweet one in the least, but still satisfies and could be perfect for the beach.  You and the homies who ain’t here are gonna have a good time with this one.

From the label:

Grab it now at

The Greene Grape

765 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217

​The Right Way

Wine just so happens to be one of those things that has a right and a wrong way to do it.  Doing it wrong can ruin the experience completely, and wine is all about enjoyment.

There are many things to consider when enjoying wine, including the temperature of the wine, type of glass, and food pairing.

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Temperature

Red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines are all enjoyed different ways.  Red wine is typically served at room temperature, or sometimes slightly cooler.  Rosé, white, and sparkling wines are usually enjoyed chilled.  Drinking a cold red wine or a warm white can distort the flavor.  Recently, I tried a white wine for the first time at the wrong temperature, and got a completely different impression of it once chilled.

 

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Glass

Different glass types affect how your wine is meant to be enjoyed.  For the most part, wine is enjoyed in stemmed glasses.  Not only does this make for an elegant look, but it also assists in maintaining the temperature of the wine by keeping your hands off the bowl, the part of the glass that actually holds the wine.  Holding on to the stem keeps the body heat from your hand from warming up your wine.

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Glasses for red wine typically have a large, round bowl.  This helps the aromas circulate inside the glass before you smell them.

White wine glasses are similar to red wine glasses but slightly tapered at the top to keep the wine cool.

Rosé glasses look like white wine glasses, but sometimes have a slight flare at the lip of the glass, for flourish.  Same principle applies: it’s slightly tapered to keep things cool.

Glasses for sparkling wine tend to be much slimmer and taller than white wine glasses, and this is to keep the bubbles in.  A narrow bowl leaves less surface area for bubbles to cling to and escape along.

Stemless glasses have been all the rage lately and are basically just the bowl of the glass with a flat bottom.  They’re usually used at casual parties where knocking over your glass may be a concern.

I’ve seen people enjoy wine in anything from a coffee mug to a plastic cup.  Whatever your fancy, always consider the effect your vessel may have on your experience.  Personally, I take care to ensure I am enjoying my wine as intended.

pexels-photo-370984Food pairing

Pairing with wine is a whole conversation on it’s own.  On a basic level, always consider what you’re enjoying your wine with and how it can also affect it’s flavor.  Read here at my blog for an experience I recently had with a white wine that was chilled appropriately, but just didn’t tickle my fancy.  Once I poured a glass with my dinner, it took on a whole new character after it played with the flavors in my food.

Getting the most out of your experience includes taking the proper steps to do it the right way.  There’s no use counting out a good bottle because you couldn’t wait to chill it or because it didn’t taste good by itself.

Happy tasting!

Why wine?

pexels-photo-87224.jpeg​For some reason, wine always reminded me of luxury.  People drank it with dinner at restaurants with crisp, white tablecloths, holding their glass with a pinky sticking up.  But when I got exposed to it, it wasn’t what I expected. It didn’t taste like anything familiar to me; it wasn’t sweet like Hypnotic, or fiery like Henny.  It didn’t even taste sweet like Welch’s grape or even Manischewitz, which, as far as I knew, was wine, too.  I can’t even remember what I likened it to, since I have been in love with it now for so long.  I was completely lost on the art of enjoying it; like, what the hell did people see in this?  It didn’t taste like anything to me, yet people spent so much time drinking it and paying all this money for it, like WHATS THE BIG DEAL?  I almost got discouraged from it. Gasp!  I nearly wrote it off as something out of my reach, beyond my taste. I was ready to stick to my Patron and Ciroc comfort zone.

But something continued to intrigue me, so I decided to put down the Ciroc & Red Bull for a second and started my research.

I bought books, and even subscribed to magazines like Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, and Wine Spectator.  Yes, I got fancy y’all! I started reading about wine every month which made it all the more interesting to me. I was even beginning to understand and speak the language: aromas, terroir, tannins, bouquet.  I became fascinated with the idea that something made from grapes could taste like blackberries or smell like tobacco!  It wasn’t until I actually explored by drinking lots of  wine was I able to put my newfound knowledge to good use and discover my new favorite thing to do.

If you’re like I was, and just don’t “get” wine, you’re in the right place.  Sharing my experiences will get you on the path to becoming a wine enthusiast in no time!  And if you’re already a fellow wine lover, who can sniff with the best of them, I’m sure you’ll enjoy gushing with me about different vineyards and local sources.  Here’s to us enjoying and  exploring the wonderful world of wine together!