In the Zone

POSTED ON 12/04/2009

With Lent done and dusted for another year, it’s no bad time to reflect on the pros and cons of giving up drinking wine. For anyone who’s used to drinking at least some wine every day, it may not be an easy task.

In my job, what is easy is to get into the habit of having a few glasses or a bottle of wine a day without a second thought. But alcohol is potentially addictive and if you don’t have a decent break from it every so often, how do you know whether you’re dependent, albeit mildly, or not, or what the effects are?

in the zonein the zone

I think that if you’re drinking a half-bottle of wine every day, then admit it or not, there’s bound to be an element of physical and mental addiction. Not great for your physical or mental health.

According to an article in that fine newspaper The Independent, alcohol experts and liver specialists believe that breaks from alcohol are one of the best things drinkers can do for their health because having a break re-sets your tolerance levels.


Giving up alcohol may not be a doddle, but if you want to, you can do it by setting yourself a goal and sticking to it. Mine is to give up in January. As the new year approaches, I feel like a man in a canoe about to topple over the Niagara Falls, but it does get easier each year.

Breaking the physical addiction helps you overcome the psychological addiction. So if in the first week of giving up you crave a drink every night, you soon find that the craving diminishes (a) because you’re not physically addicted any more and (b) because as time goes on, the anticipation diminishes.

Result is you feel better and healthier, and you may even lose a bit of weight, but above all you’ve convinced yourself you can do it without pain. Pat yourself on the back without taking your own Lucozade to dinner parties and being holier-than-thou about it.

Some people say they couldn’t do it, others that they don’t need to. If you say you can’t, you’re at least admitting that there might be a problem. If you say you don’t need to, then you’re in denial. Give it a go. You won’t believe how good it feels waking up on the Monday of the final week of abstinence, knowing that that bottle waiting for you at the end of the week is not a mirage.

If you’d like to share your experiences, successful or otherwise, of giving up, drop me a line, and I’ll aim to incorporate your story into a broader article.

Now, pass the Chablis.

Wine of the Week

2006 Trapiche Cristina Y Bibiana Coletto Single Vineyard Malbec.

From two sisters Cristiana and Bibiana Coletto, who inherited the vineyards of their uncle, Don Victoria Coletto, this is one of Trapiche’s three single vineyard releases, a process begun in 2003 to improve the general quality of grapes from growers. Made at El Peral in Tupungato from 52 year old vines, it shows a floral violet-like aromatic character with a touch of sweet spicy oak, a fine mid-palate of intensely flavoured and concentrated dark red and blackberry fruits with good fresh acidity and muscular yet supple tannins, with both oak and tannin nicely integrated into a blend of real personality. Around £24.99, Noel Young Wines, Peake Wine Associates, Cavas de Gaucho, Highbury Vintners.

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