Most wine tastes nice. There’s no doubt about that. And there’s a general consensus that drinking some alcohol is probably OK (experts never agree on that kind of thing!). Not to mention that life would be boring if you denied yourself every simple pleasure.
But if drinking the occasional glass of wine has turned into rather more than that, it’s worth checking out these ideas for cutting down your wine drinking.
1. Use smaller glasses (or fill them up less)
I know that wine needs room to breathe and that the bouquet is better when the wine has room to be swirled round.
So smaller glasses may or may not be an option for you. That will depend on the size of your wine glasses in the first place – there’s certainly been a trend here in the UK (and probably elsewhere in the world) for larger servings and where a restaurant may have previously poured half a dozen glasses from a bottle that’s now often just 3 glasses. Which works well for the “buy two get the rest of the bottle free” offers but isn’t as kind on your liver.
So consider using smaller glasses or merely not filling them up as full.
2. Keep a diary
If your first thought on this suggestion is “yikes” then you probably do need to keep an alcohol diary.
But if you do that, make sure that you use it as you drink. Otherwise you run the risk of putting less in your diary than you’ve actually drunk – maybe because you forgot, maybe because you’re embarrassed at the true amount.
3. Consider drinking spritzers
Spritzers are a mix of wine and some kind of sparkling soda or mineral water.
They’re surprisingly nice and can even brighten up an otherwise dull wine.
You can also get non-alcoholic spritzers if you’re really cutting down on your alcohol intake.
4. Alternate your drinks
I don’t mean swapping between a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot.
Alternate your drinks so that every other drink is non-alcoholic.
There are plenty of alternatives and if you used something like a sparkling water you could use the alternate drink to clean your palette, allowing yourself to appreciate your next glass of wine more.
5. Notice your drink
Pretend that every bottle you’re drinking is good quality wine.
You’d treat it differently rather than slurping it down as fast as possible.
Breathe air into your mouth to help release the flavours.
Swirl the wine round your mouth in the same way as a professional wine taster would.
Savour the often subtle flavours that are in the majority of wines.
Pay attention to your wine and you’ll enjoy it more even when you’re drinking less of it.
6. Have an alcohol free day
Choose one or two days a week where you won’t drink unless it’s a special occasion such as someone’s birthday or anniversary.
Maybe a Tuesday – often an uneventful day – would work for you?
Challenge yourself to keep to your day off wine regime for a few weeks, then let that stretch to a few months and you may even find yourself adding more wine-free days without noticing.