the bitch is back

Thursday, January 30, 2014

After not drinking at all -- not even tasting and spitting -- since New Year's Eve, I caved.

Can you really blame me?

I went to Ella tonight for work to do a little networking with the sommelier there, and it's kind of difficult to encourage a restaurant to add more Washington wine to its wine list (currently, there are only four selections in a 21-page binder) if you're only drinking water. So naturally I had to order one of the four Washington wines, and it just so happened that the 2004 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was an option at the unbelievable price of $130. I know $130 for a bottle of wine sounds crazy for the vast majority of people, but normally this bottle -- a Wine Advocate favorite with 98 points -- is in the $250 range, and that's the off-premise price, not the restaurant price. Too good to pass up.

And of course, when the bottle arrived, I had to taste it, especially since the sommelier was totally intrigued by my choice (success!) and complimented me on the "good find" I picked from the list. And then of course, tasting led to sipping. And sipping led to one more glass and maybe even a glass after that, especially since there was steak tartare and beef tenderloin to pair with the wine.

Hence the premature end of Sober January.

Honestly, I'm surprised I made it this far. My job has made Sober January one hell of a challenge. It has been absolute torture to not just attend but host events where this is available ...

... and drink water while everyone else goes on and on about how much they love this wine. I actually started to develop a bad habit of hiding mid-event -- I literally went looking for the secret rooms and alcoves where I could be alone and observe people without feeling like I had to be drinking with them. 

Guess who the creeper on the second floor was?

I also found socializing a lot harder when I was the only person who wasn't drinking. I'd look around, listen to snippets of conversation and realize: Holy shit, I have zero in common with these people, and I kind of really don't want to be here at all.

Thankfully, I somehow always managed to find the triathlete at the party (like Kristin, whom I met here in Sacramento at the Wine Business Monthly Bottle Bash on Tuesday night), and then we talked about Ironman for a long-ass time. (Added bonus: Athletes -- triathletes, runners, anyone who trains for anything basically -- totally understand not drinking and aren't weird about it at all.)

The only Washington winery at Bottle Bash -- and it was awkward when they tried to pour me wine and I said no.

I also got really tired of people thinking I was pregnant. It got to the point where I stopped trying to explain Sober January and just went with: "Don't send gifts. Just send money."

But on the plus side: As a result of Sober January, I've saved a shit-ton of money (all of which I will likely now spend on triathlon stuff). And my training (other than my terrible running) has been nice and steady -- I feel more motivated and awake, and I've made huge strides in the pool. My overall health has improved (fewer late nights, better food choices, a happier belly). However, I didn't lose a bunch of weight -- maybe only 2 lbs. total -- but I think a lot of that is due to putting on more upper body muscle from swimming.

Anyway, the key moving forward (god, I hate that phrase "moving forward" because where else are you supposed to move?) will be balance -- I want to maintain all of the good things I've established over the past 30 days, but also still enjoy wine (and yes, the occasional crazy night out -- I will never grow up, I swear).

So bottoms up -- in moderation, of course.


Angela said...

Hey, you made it through metric January! Er, nearly?

I'm sure booze has missed you as much as you've missed it.

Michaela said...

Haha! Metric January -- love that. And yes, booze and I needed a happy reunion.

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