Substitutes for wine

Substitutes for wine

A tremendous part of the clarity journey is self-exploration. By that, I mean you'll be asking yourself a gazillion questions as you come to understand why you want to drink so badly, and how you can overcome that desire once and for all. One of the first places you'll likely start is determining what it is about the drinking experience, itself, that is so alluring. 

For me, I realized I loved the feeling of relaxation and slowness. Wine is taken in smooth slow sips as I cradle the bowl of the glass with my hand. It's a drink to be savoured after a long day, while making dinner, chatting with family. Or in the evening as I settle in for a Netflix binge. This sipping experience isn't very difficult to mimic without the alcohol.

I started out drinking tea. A lot of tea. Even today, one shelf of my cupboard is almost exclusively filled with boxes and bags of tea from fruit flavours to detox to sleepy time. Although the tea experience doesn't come with the wine glass, it's a perfect substitute for the sipping. And, I find it very relaxing. Because I save so much money by not buying alcohol anymore, I have no problem treating myself to expensive teas. They're still cheap by comparison to a bottle of half-decent wine.

I didn't drink from a wine glass, at all, for the first couple of months. I found this helped me veer away from that desire to grab the bottle when the cravings were still quite strong. I wanted to train my brain to reach for something other than a glass of wine whenever the need for stability, security, contentment arose. For me, the teacup was the next best substitute.

Fast forward another month or two, and I had a few reasons to celebrate over the course of a month. I did, indeed, miss the celebratory feeling that came with drinking from a wine glass. There's just something about the shape of the glass and the stem that feels regal. Special. I decided I could manage mimicking the wine drinking experience one step further. 

A great way substitute for wine is mixing sparkling water with high quality grape or blueberry juice. Initially, I tried a non-alcoholic red wine. It was so terrible, I emptied the entire bottle down the sink after two sips. I'd recommend skipping that experience all together. Experiment with different juices to find something that works for you. I love that I can enjoy two or three glasses without any of the buzz that comes with wine. (Believe it, or not, I don't miss the buzz that comes from drinking at all!)

Another new drink I've found is nice to enjoy in a wine glass (or regular glass) is kombucha. The fermented tea has become super popular and is easily available at every grocery store. It's sweet and fizzy to taste, and has the added health benefit of being a probiotic. Be aware, there is a trace amount of alcohol in kombucha, but you'd have to drink a heck of lot of the stuff to feel any sort of effects. I never drink more than two glasses at a time.

I recommend refraining from drinking from a wine glass until you've grown comfortable with your alcohol-free lifestyle. Once I knew that I'd lost all desire for getting a buzz, I brought back the wine glass experience. I only use it on occasion, and, unlike my former drinking days, never want more than one or two glasses of whatever beverage I'm enjoying. It's just enough to make the moment feel a little more special. 



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