Despite the poetry and romance that surrounds wine there’s no avoiding the fact that it is an alcoholic beverage, a vice that can be indulged or abused. The obvious solution is to cut back on wine consumption, drinking in moderation and reducing it to something that’s enjoyed only on special occasions.
But as someone who has turned wine from an obsession into a profession, I have had to exercise more creativity, to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst being able to enjoy and review wines on a regular basis.
Another obstacle is my position as a sommelier, which may seem like a high status position at first glance, but is really just another service/hospitality role, and in this industry we keep markedly different schedules relative to the majority of 9-to-5 workers. We are working while everyone else is eating, and vice versa.
But just because there are obstacles, that is not an excuse to give up. With the increasing rate of obesity all around the world it seems people are becoming ignorant, losing the concept of physical morality.
I enjoy wine, and it is my aim to live as long as possible to do so. therefore maintaining a healthy lifestyle is paramount. The changes I have had to make to my lifestyle were not minor, but my role is rewarding in many other ways.
I juice fruit and vegetables. I eschew carbohydrates in favour of protein and fat. I work out every day and swim occasionally. I don’t need to indulge myself on chocolates, cupcakes and sodas more than very occasionally. I don’t feel that I’ve given up a lot, but perhaps that is the result off long term consistency.
In contrast, the benefits have been tremendous – I feel healthier, look better, and am able to enjoy that extra glass of Riesling knowing that I have myself physically under control.
The point isn’t too be a calorie counter. Rather, it’s important to be honest with yourself and your decisions, and to exercise awareness of your own body. I have chosen for wine to play a large role in my life, I am aware of the risks, and have taken steps to mitigate them.
But this point of view can be applied with anything, not just for wine. If you choose to work smoke cigars you will have to live with consequences that can range from bad breath to lung cancer. If you want to be a foodie you will have to keep an eye on both your wallet and waistline.
The information is out there. Make it a point to prioritise your health no matter what your vice is, so that you may live a long life and enjoy it to the fullest.