I do love a glass of wine...and some things just taste better with a great red.
I can't imagine myself eating a bowl of pasta, or a pizza, or a rich, wintery casserole without a good red.
Sydney summer and seafood...a chilled Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris...bring it on.
An aperitif? Love it. I pretend I'm in an Italian piazza, with the sun setting, sharpening my appetite for whatever culinary delight the night has in store for me.
You're getting the picture here? I have a passion for food and wine and have spent much of my adult life enjoying it pretty much however I wanted.
However, and here's the stinger, I have needed to abstain from alcohol for almost two months...also coffee, my other true love.
Several years ago, when I was trekking to Everest Base Camp, I managed to pick up some sort of parasite which has bothered me endlessly.
An intergrated medical practitioner took a plethora of tests at the end of June and asked me to stop alcohol, coffee, raw onion, chocolate and carbonated drinks until the results were in.
I have done it as instructed - no sense spending that much money to get advice and not taking it - and the subsequent results have been interesting, to say the least.
For the first few weeks, I craved anything with sugar in it. Clearly, I get a lot of sugar from wine and my body was missing it. It's abated now but that was a lesson, indeed.
My skin looks 300% better and I have much more energy; loads more in fact.
I really miss coffee, probably because the smell of brewing coffee is one of life's best scents. Maybe one coffee a day is in my future.
I have yet to figure out how I can have the benefits of not drinking alcohol but still be able to enjoy wine and other beverages.
I am hopeless at anything at all that means moderation - I'm an all-in or all-out, sort-of woman - so it's a work in progress.
I'll let you know how I go!