If you're anything like me, you're still crafting the perfect resolutions for the new year. Sure, we're two weeks into 2015, but those two weeks are for holiday recovery and self reflection, right? So please pour a drink, sit back, and listen because I'm about to give you five reasons to your drink in 2015.
1. Have a glass of red wine a day, for your heart.
The Mayo Clinic writes that red wine may help prevent heart disease and protect arteries. It's rich in antioxidants, and an ingredient called resveratrol could be linked to reducing cholesterol, inflammation and blood clotting. It may even mimic or enhance the benefits of exercise. Let me repeat: it may mimic or enhance the benefits of exercise! This, combined with your resolution to exercise more is going to be perfect synergy. On your workout days, replace your Gatorade with Pinot Noir. On your rest days, drink your wine and it's like you're not even resting!
2. Add some fancy cocktails to your entertaining arsenal.
Whether you are impressing guests or trying to class up a Tuesday night, mix up more than a Gin and Nothing. Make a pact to demystify the Sloe Gin Fizz or a Manhattan. Try the Caipirinha at your Brazilian themed dinner party! Serve the Twelve Mile Limit at your next sleepover (because nobody should drive home after one!). Obligatory: I recommend the St. Germain Margarita for any occasion.
3. Dedicate space for your collection.
Whatever your desires and space limitations, it's time to take those wine bottles off the top of your fridge. It can be as simple as a compact bar cart (I turned this into one!) or a wine fridge in the kitchen. If you have the will and the way, maybe you can create a fabulous built in bar or a cavernous cellar. In need of some pinspiration?
4. Shop smart.
Trader Joe's, Costco, Total Wine/Bevmo, Amazon (in some areas). There's no excuse to overpay to drink anymore! You can now comparison shop your favorites wines (and other beverages), or try a private label at Trader Joe's or Costco. They'll never tell the origins of their bottles, but your discerning palette may be able to find your favorite wine (or something very similar) at half the price. Looking for recommendations? Costco Wine Blog is an extensive collection of Costco wine reviews (they love Kirkland Prosecco and we do too). The Reserve Wine Snob has an excellent list of Trader Joe's recommendations, and if you haven't read about the sommelier trying Trader Joe's wine, it is a must.
5. Explore your local flavors.
Craft breweries, wineries and distilleries are popping up everywhere. In Prescott, (the small Arizona town you've never heard of) we have one of each! In Arizona, we have pockets of wine country in the Verde Valley and Elgin, and new breweries and distilleries popping up all the time. If we have 'em, you probably do too! Even if you have to go a town or two over, there's never been a better time to drink local. Spend the afternoon wine tasting at your local winery, swing buy your distillery for a bottle to go on your way to dinner at the brewpub.
Nicole St. Germain is Creative Director of St. Germain Cellars, a craft beer snob, and a wine novice. Her cocktail of choice is anything with St-Germain liqueur.