Getting That Glass from Half Full to Empty: The Value of a New Year’s Wine

By Alexa Day

The world celebrates the beginning of a new year today. Some of you lucky folks welcomed the new year yesterday, but at press time, most of us were already embracing 2014.

My guess is that very few of you are in the appropriate emotional state to hear more about drinking. That’s understandable. Stick with me for just another few paragraphs anyway. I want to explain how a nice glass of wine today can get you in a better place for the new year.

You’ll have to slow down. A nice glass of wine – and I prefer a rich, full-bodied red wine for the new year – is going to force you to slow down and focus on it. That’s not true for our other friends behind the bar. You’ll have to gulp a shot. Keeping beer cold and effervescent demands some measure of attention. And while hard liquor has the power to slow you down, a nice glass of tequila doesn’t have the volume to keep you occupied for very long. Stick with a glass of wine, and slow down. Savor it. Take it sip by sip. You have a whole year ahead of you.

 drinkee drinkee

Alexa? Alexa, come on! You’re thinking too hard!

Wine stimulates thought. I know, I know. We’ve all seen that brave soul at the end of the bar, gazing deeply into the melting ice cubes as they settle into his glass of whiskey. Something’s on his mind. It’s probably a pretty deep question. Will she ever come back? Was everyone right about me? Are Tony Romo and Kyle Orton really that different? But you know what he’s not thinking about? He’s not thinking about how watery his drink is getting. Your glass of red is gently breathing there in its glass, ready to warm your viscera and stimulate your gray matter. It only took me a third of a glass to realize that Romo would probably have done the same thing Orton did against the Eagles. Then I was able to turn to other, more mysterious things, like whether now is a good time to take things to the next level with Jason Garrett. Remember, the active ingredient in wine is truth. The same cannot be said for Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan, can it? (In case you’re wondering, wine said I should wait to have that talk with Jason. Tequila would have told me to go to his house. I don’t ask tequila important questions anymore.)

Wine likes company. I’m not talking about friends, although I do love a nice drink with my fellow oenophiles. I’m talking about food. Something about a nice red makes food rise to the occasion. I find I can taste the lash of the grill more with the help of a glass of wine. A bit of cheese finds depth and dimension under the influence of wine. Even the lowly french fry enjoys the company of a sophisticated wine. Because you’re drinking slowly, you have the freedom to concentrate on your senses more. A good meal with a good wine is a special blessing, and the perfect setting for a nice long meditation on this new year. Starting 2014 by indulging your senses – how can that be a wrong idea?

It’s almost nine in the morning on New Year’s Day. What are you waiting for? I can hear your corkscrew gently weeping from here.

Happy New Year!

**Alexa Day is here to meet you on the first Wednesday of every month, and she is usually sober. Promise. Check her out here for a new way to bring the sensual into your everyday life, and then follow her on Facebook during the month. You can also be a part of her unfortunate TV habits on Twitter. And don’t worry. Wine told her that working on her next book would take her mind off Jason Garrett.

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