Day 3: Living and Drinking Alone - 3 Tips To Help Avoid Excess
I’ve lived alone for more than 15 years and it’s often a challenge to manage how much I drink when I open a bottle of wine. You know that feeling, when you come home from a long day and think, “just a glass”, then before you know it, the bottle is staring back at you near empty and you wonder how the heck you got there.
So how do you enjoy a glass or two without going to excess?
1. Put away the Riedel Extremes. I keep a standard format, multi-purpose glass on hand for when I’m solo, so the glass looks fuller, and I’m not tempted to over serve myself.
2. Pour tasting pours and leave the bottle in the fridge, or on the kitchen bench. Smaller pours and putting the bottle aside forces me to get up from the dinner table to refill, an effective way to help me stay mindful of how much I’m consuming.
3. Invest in half bottles and decant half the wine as soon as you open the bottle. Buying wine in half bottles is no wine professional’s idea of fun, as the range is generally limited to big brands and mainstream styles, but it’s the dark green glass and screwcap closures you are after.
I suggest to buy three or four inexpensive wines in these formats, and keep a sharpie and roll of masking tape handy (I love the blue kitchen tape available at all hardware stores). Then when you open that great bottle you’ve been craving, immediately decant half into that clean, empty half bottle, fill it right to the top (to minimize head space) screw the lid on tight, label it, date it, and stand it up in the coolest part of the fridge.
I have kept reds, whites and roses like this for over a week, and it’s not uncommon for me to have two or three random sample bottles of Gavi, Garnacha or Riesling stored in my fridge in this format. Looks weird sure, but it’s also nice to have your own “wine by the glass” program from your couch.
Bottles are washable, refillable, and the if you want to save leftover wine from the open 750ml bottle, decant that too into a smaller format. Although I rarely find much worth saving between the pre-dinner glass, cooking, and the dinner glass.
On sparkling wine, my first wine mentor and boss in Australia Pam Dunsford, also lived alone, and had her cellar stocked with a stash of Krug MV half bottles. Her philosophy being if she was to drink champagne, it had better be the best, never to excess, and a glass was always on hand for when company arrived, or the urge struck for that celebratory glass.
Champagne stoppers apparently help too but somehow I never know how to use them…