As January draws to a close, some of you will have a lot to celebrate having succeeded in completing your goal of a dry January. I’m quite surprised with myself having exceeded my own expectations with relative ease. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed going on the dry for the entirety of January to such an extent, that I’m considering continuing through February for many reasons.
The physical health benefits are an enormous motivator to go on the dry but it’s not without sacrifice- i found it very hard at the beginning to give up my favourite fruity, red wines! However, It’s scientifically proven to be helpful to the old ticker, it even brought my blood pressure down. You won’t be surprised to learn that it lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke too. It’s even said to contribute in the fight against cancer and has been associated with memory protection against Alzheimer’s disease. As for those Christmas pounds- there is nothing like a dry January for weight loss. It certainly seems to keep me thin and I haven’t laid off the grub in January either- I can only attribute it to being on the dry. Even if you can only last the month, studies have shown that it does promote a long life. However, I imagine sticking at it for more than a month will be more beneficial.
I really wasn’t sure I wanted to take part in a dry January, I really didn’t want to give up those fruity reds… To be honest, I wan’t sure I would last, or indeed if I could be bothered. Let’s face it, January is depressing enough. I struggled for a while wondering could I last for a whole month. I pondered ‘Is this something I can commit too?’ I just wasn’t sure. Saying goodbye to my fresh and fruity beverage of choice is a real buzz kill- especially on a Friday night after a long week in work. Did I really want to make my January more difficult? It wasn’t an easy choice, but without a doubt I can declare victory and say now I’m sure I can make it another few days. Better again, I actually enjoyed my dry January and think I’ll make a good go of February too.
If you have a success story like mine, having survived January on the dry and are intrigued to continue through February- I think I can help. Also, please feel free to leave comments and share your experience in the hope to help others extend their dry January.
Here are the top tips I heard on the grape vine to help you through the dry with ease. I know it can be difficult to pry yourself from your usual beverage of choice, but it is important for your health and well-being to give it your best. It doesn’t have to be as tough as you might anticipate.
My first tip is easily accessible and affordable to everybody- we all have a local Lidl and they know their dry red wines. One that I really indulged on responsibly this January is the Rioja Crianza 2012( See image below) This dry red wine has lots of character. It is definitely a dry red but if you have similar taste buds to me you will truly enjoy this red berry, slightly peppery wine due to its thin body, minimum tannins yet satisfying depth of flavour. Lidl could ask a lot more for this dry Tempranillo than they currently charge- it’s €5.99
My second tip can be repeated by all living, or passing through Dublin, as one of my favourite little, independent wine stores ‘The Corkscrew’ is ideally located off Grafton street. These guys are super knowledgeable about wine and better than that, they give each customer barrel-loads of attention. I love this personal touch which you will find at most independent wine merchants. Even if you are located outside Dublin, just head to your local wine shop and make friends! You won’t regret it. After explaining in detail what type of wine I enjoy the most (characteristics that are not usually consistent with the dry variety) but disclosing that I need a dry red wine for the purposes of partaking in dry January, the guy at The Corkscrew on Chatham Street brought me around the shop and by process of elimination gave me a choice of 3 dry reds. After a tad more deliberation, we decided on an Italian, dry red- Sangiovese (Fantini Farnese)€11.99
This dry red is cherry-tastic with a pronounced, joint tobacco and leather mix which reminded me of a Tom Ford fragrance. As always, it’s all about the experience and if you are getting Tom Forde on the tongue you know you are on to a good thing. This one really made it easy for me to get through dry January!