Xmas lunch today was interesting. My first sober Xmas in 20 years!
After a lovely parkrun at 8:00 am with family and parkrun family, family met up again for a late lunch. 2 out of 7 people were drinking alcohol. Those 2 may have only had 2 glasses of bubbly each.
4 of us shared a non-alcoholic sparkling Cabernet of some sort. There was definitely no alcohol in it. Not sure if it was the large lunch or some sort of woo “body memory” of Xmasses past, or the heat here in Australia, but I felt a bit woozy for a while after my meal, and we hadn’t even had dessert!
I also had a Facebook memory pop up today of me drinking champagne at Xmas in 2011. I looked very, very tired and very puffy, and had an awfully strained smile on my face.
If today’s sort of tiredness happened when I wasn’t drinking alcohol, I can see why I always felt so crappy after a few hours drinking and eating.
Luckily, the tiredness today wore off, unlike in days of yore where I’d feel crap till I started drinking again the next night. Feeling great this evening, and had a very happy day.
There is a whole culture and in-crowd “mystique” to alcohol and its products. So much pretension associated with particular brands of drinks and their rarity or pedigree. Wine snobbery always makes you feel bad.
I’m looking at it as being kind of like Philately (Stamp Collecting).
I’m not interested in Stamp Collecting in the slightest. A workmate spends hours in his stamp club discussing rare stamps.
I’d rather do something I’m interested in.
I’m not interested in drinking or how much someone paid for something I’d rather tip down the kitchen sink than drink.
At work this Xmas we were all given a bottle of posh-pedigree Coonawarra bubbly. Last year we got the same thing, but this year it was a year older. I would have LOVED that last year. This year I gave it to my Mum. Her eyes lit up, and she was absolutely thrilled She said it was such a treat she’d have it at Xmas dinner, and I was very happy she was happy.
Then I told my food/wine snob sister (whom I love dearly I should add) and she basically dismissed it as not good enough and said “I’m bringing a Hyacinth Buckét 2014 Rouge Plonque” (or whatever) “we’ll have that instead”.
You can’t win the wine snob game!
Discussing blind tasting of wines yesterday, I learned about this event:
“The Paris Wine Tasting of 1976—known as the Judgment of Paris—was a wine competition organized in Paris on 24 May 1976 by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, in which French judges carried out two blind tasting comparisons: one of top-quality Chardonnays and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California). A Californian wine rated best in each category, which caused surprise as France was generally regarded as being the foremost producer of the world’s best wines. Spurrier sold only French wine and believed that the California wines would not win.”
“Criticism of the event suggested that wine tastings lacked scientific validity due to the subjectivity of taste in human beings. Indeed, the organizer of the competition, Steven Spurrier, said, “The results of a blind tasting cannot be predicted and will not even be reproduced the next day by the same panel tasting the same wines.” In one case it was reported that a “side-by-side chart of best-to-worst rankings of 18 wines by a roster of experienced tasters showed about as much consistency as a table of random numbers.””
I’ve also often read about many other blind tastings where sommeliers can’t tell expensive from cheap wine.
I read a great blog post by Ultraviolet Sobriety this week which summed up the Christmas Myth:
“Christmas time is the time when people with drinking problems blend in the best. It’s considered normal to drink heavily. Everyone seems to be doing it. There are pictures, ads and images of it everywhere. You may not even notice them. I never did until I became teetotal. Exotic brands of alcohol in overpriced, pretentiously flavoured mixers and the decadence of Christmas are synonymous.
“Except…. they are not. Or shouldn’t be. That’s just what we are drip-fed currently. Perpetuating this belief around the dependence of fun upon booze consumption makes a few people very rich indeed…. and this deep yet false cultural belief makes a LOT of people very sick indeed. Physically unwell, mentally unwell, spirituality unwell, socially unwell.” – Ultraviolet Sobriety
My Google app this morning showed me an article about the non-alcoholic drinks market boom in Australia.
Our supermarket AF/NA drinks section seems to get bigger every month, with bubbly, sparkling apple & grape juices, NA beers.
It’s not just Australia. Heineken are promoting a NA beer. And UK friends were talking about non-alcoholic Kopparberg cider yesterday too.
Companies are now making money from the non-drinking culture. But at least it’s better people make money from something that doesn’t often ruin people’s lives.
I’ve been making friends on Word Press and on My Fitness Pal by discussing using less alcohol. Is it becoming cool, or do I only think it’s cool now I’m doing it? Hahaha! It was probably always cool!