I'll just say it: Sobriety is not all it's cracked up to be. Especially when extreme temperance has been induced by the need to take a course of prescription medicine. Recently, I had to start a new prescription that could potentially interfere with the effects of alcohol. Or was it that the alcohol might interfere with the effects of the medication? Who knows, who cares. The point is my nightly routine was for a little while dramatically altered.

When wine stopped tasting good, extreme sobriety set in. I mean, I was drinking water and lemonade at night as opposed to the glass (or two) of wine I used to have while I cooked and ate dinner. And I have to admit the increased hydration seemed to have a beneficial effect on... well, actually I can't think of anything but surely more water and less wine is good for my liver and kidneys or something. At first I thought this period of total abstention would clear my head, enhance my energy and improve my attitude. IT DID NOT. I didn't feel any better in the morning after a night of water spritzers (sparkling water in a wine glass with wedges of lemons, lines and oranges) than I felt after a night of a Veuve Clicquot split. My morning depression did not dissipate. In fact, it was a little depressing to realize that when I woke up sober that was pretty much as good as I was going to feel all day. I missed the glow of Friday night which I consider my own personal weekly mental vacation complete with a good bottle of wine and maybe even a little drinkie-poo to start with. I missed the fun of opening a bottle, pouring a glass and sipping while I puttered around the kitchen. I missed the little bit of relaxation that comes along with that. And while I was waiting for wine to start tasting good again, I became a connoisseur of bottled water. They really do have different tastes and textures! But water can't replace the pleasures of wine. The one thing I am glad of is that when I decided to eliminate wine from my diet for a few weeks it wasn't difficult to do. And it has not made a huge difference in the way I feel or my apparent wellbeing. But I am looking forward to inhaling the aroma of a good wine, drinking it with dinner and enjoying the buzz. As with all good things, moderation is crucial. But look, there's no point in depriving yourself because life is hard enough as it is. Wine makes life better. And I think I might be able to get a few sips of champagne down tonight... I intend to try.

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