Maybe the titles a bit strong? Well, it took me about 30 years to figure out that for me, it probably is and always will be.
I think in my teenage years, it gave the lanky gawky me, some confidence as I started to socialise as a budding adult. I remember being extremely sick in someone’s car from having a few too many Martini Rosso and lemonade and then ciders – I am sorry to say that for a West Country girl, that ended the relationship for me with Cider – perhaps a blessing in disguise.
My first proper full-time job after leaving college? A wine shop manager. Oh dear!
Actually, I loved the job. It taught me incredible skills, I ran 2 shops in Bath and then another 3 in the South East before moving into marketing in the HQ.
I developed a passionate interest in wine but also a rather habitual drinking of it.
Throughout my 20’s & 30’s I found myself having some wine: if friends came round, if I went to friends, if I went out, to relax at home after work, to celebrate or to commiserate anything. I tended not to get handovers in those days and I could consume a lot of wine. My friends would say that I tended to disappear and would be found asleep somewhere after consuming too much – but that was usually after quite a bit – I just don’t seem to have a conscious stop button with alcohol!
I can honestly say during all that time, I never thought of drinking as bad for me….or bad. Everyone seemed to do it; it was fun, and it was part of my almost daily life.
But in the last 10 years or so, I started to notice a number of things. I drank wine in the evenings to relax and destress predominantly. The socialising aspect became secondary. I started to become anxious the following day – about anything but also about my health (Hangxiety, as I know now but it never had a name to me then). I noticed feeling hungover suddenly – drinking made me feel really tired the following day and less ‘on it’. Foodwise, I would eat as much sugar and fat as possible plus I really couldn’t be bothered, to go to the gym or anything much.
I consciously tried to cut down hundreds of times, and failed all the time. Within a few days of not drinking, I would be really happy with my progress – I’m fixed. Let’s celebrate and have drinks at the weekend…and then in the week. My consistency where wine drinking is concerned has been impressive! Only it’s not.
I can’t say that I had a Eureka moment but a few things happened in quick succession. I gave up my job as I had been living away from home most of the week for 2 years and I was done with that. It was also that ‘2020 year’. I had no idea what I wanted to do next but I wanted change in my life and funnily enough, the pandemic probably helped me as life became a whole lot simpler for me. I know it has been a terrible time for many so I’m sorry if that causes anyone any distress.
With my experience in drinks, and my real want for change with my drinking habits, trying my hand to launch my own brand of non-alcoholic drinks seemed like something to try. Not only that but a food development centre opened in my town in 2020 (The Food Works. It’s a really unique place where start-ups can rent kitchens by the day – it’s really quite unique and amazing!)
So now it’s 2022. The range is here. Lots of people have bought them and I have had some amazing feedback. My relationship with alcohol is finally different and in many ways what keeps it that way is meeting and chatting with so many of you who are just like me….or different but we have a common thread in that we want an alternative to alcohol and we want to drink less or not at all, for whatever reason. I feel like there is a growing family of us out there!