• Wine meditations are an easy way to casually meditate
  • Focusing on your senses helps to wipe away negative thoughts
  • “Be in the moment” to maximize the benefits of wine meditations
It’s been a non-stop stressful day at work.

You know the kind.

It’s a combination of back-to-back meetings, rude emails, headache-inducing conference calls, urgent fires, and, of course, having to deal with the resident asshole in the office.

And the final punch to the gut is the stressful commute home.

By the time you set foot inside your home, all you want to do is just crash and do absolutely nothing.

Well, almost nothing.

Food and drink is the one savior at the end of the day that you can rely on consistently.

There’s no time or energy for a fancy elaborate meal - nope. This is all about simple and easy. So, it’s something quick to whip up, microwave, or reheat. And of course, pairing it with a glass of wine because there’s no effort to that either.

After dinner, you follow up with another glass or two and that’s when you start to feel more relaxed. You’re not thinking about all the bullshit from the day. Well, maybe just a little but it doesn’t last very long.

It’s at this very moment when you don’t have a single care in the world, you really decompress. This is the “me-time” you’ve earned and deserve.

It feels so good.

Little do you know, but you’re actually doing a form of meditation.

Why Drinking Wine Is Relaxing (It’s Not Just The Alcohol!)

A glass of wine can be instantly calming. You probably assume it’s the alcohol that’s relaxing you, right?

Alcohol does have some benefits for relaxation since it depresses the central nervous system. That’s also why you feel less than fully coordinated if you overindulge.

You’ve always assumed the calming effects are because of the alcohol but there’s a lot more to it than this.

You may not realize this but, sipping a glass of wine is a form of casual meditation, which has lots of benefits for relaxing and managing stress.

If you hone in on this a bit more and bring mindfulness and meditation to the forefront while you drink, it can help you really melt the stress away.

Even if you’ve failed miserably with meditation in the past or have never tried it before, bringing wine into the equation can change everything and make things easier.

Drinking a glass of wine is a perfect opportunity to get “in the moment” and meditate your stress away. If you really immerse yourself in a wine meditation, you’re forcing yourself to be present and allowing your mind to let go of all the other bullshit in life.

This is how you maximize the biggest benefits of relaxation and calm. 

The Benefits Of Meditation

Meditation is all about focusing your thoughts and at the same time, giving them less power. It’s not about emptying your mind of all thoughts - that shit is impossible to do unless you’re a Buddhist monk.

The feeling like you need to empty your mind is one of the biggest reasons why people give up on meditation. The more you try to dial down your thoughts consciously, the louder they scream.

Forcing your mind to do something it doesn’t want to do is like trying to put a sugar-hyped kid to bed. No chance in hell.

With meditation, you’re actually training your mind to focus on the present moment, not emptying it of all thoughts - that takes years of practice to do.

The idea here is to give your mind something to latch onto. It needs some kind of mental distraction to occupy and focus its energy on. It’s a lot like giving a crying baby a mesmerizing little toy.

When you’re able to do this, it can ease your transition to a more settled mind. This is an elemental skill that is part of our ultimate newbie’s guide to meditating at work. Check it out sometime.

When you start meditating consistently, it can have significant benefits for health and well-being, and here are just a few of the ways it can help.

Reducing stress and its harmful effects is one of the big ones here. This study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that mindfulness meditation decreased the inflammatory response linked to stress.

Anxiety can also be decreased through regular meditation, even if you have high levels of it. This study in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine showed that people with severe anxiety could get the biggest benefit from meditation.

Meditation can even change how your brain works.

When your brain is constantly jumping from one thought to another, it's because the default mode network (DMN) is "on."

Dialing down the DMN makes it easier to bring your thoughts back in line when they are racing all over the place.

The challenge is that it’s hard to get to that state if you’re new to meditation. This is where a wine meditation comes into play. 

How To Apply Meditation When You’re Drinking Wine

On the surface, meditation and drinking wine may not seem like they’ve got lots in common. You might think that they actually cancel each other out.

After all, you're drinking alcohol, which is known to actively depress the nervous system, while also trying to meditate your way to a calmer, more focused mind.

But it's not as crazy as it sounds.

They actually go hand in hand.

If you've ever taken part in a wine tasting session, you'll know how it brings your senses to the party and helps to focus your mind.

The wine sommelier is talking you through the subtle hints of flavors in the wine as you’re sipping it. The combination of listening intently to keywords and actively taste-seeking those qualities in the wine is focusing your mind’s attention on the “here and now” and nothing else.

You’re not thinking about the stupid pointless meetings from yesterday or how you’re doing nothing but putting out fires all day at work or how you’ll have to suffer through boring conference calls all next week.

Nope. None of that bullshit.

Your mind is happily focused on this moment of really tasting the wine and nothing else. It’s the mesmerizing toy to the crying baby mind.

The great part about this is that you don’t need a sommelier to have the same experience.

You can use the same principles to your advantage whenever you enjoy a glass of wine at home.

Doing wine meditations helps heighten the sensual experience of drinking wine.

Because you’re putting all your attention on different aspects of this experience, you’re meditating without even trying.

And with mindful wine drinking, you're consuming less alcohol than you normally would. You’re not gulping down an entire bottle like an NFL pro with Gatorade. 

How To Do A Wine Meditation

Doing a wine meditation can feel daunting if you’ve never tried it before. The good thing is that there’s no pomp and circumstance, no technicalities or formalities.

It's actually a lot simpler than you might think, especially if you lay some basic groundwork.

These tips can get you into the perfect headspace for a wine meditation that brings the most stress relief.

1) Create Repeatable Routines And Rituals 

You don't need to reinvent the wheel every time you do a wine meditation.

Creating routines that you can easily repeat on auto-pilot is the best way forward. After all, humans are all creatures of habit.

This can be anything from the glass you choose to the clothes you change into. Get into a pattern and you’ll automatically fall in line without much effort.

These rituals can act as mental triggers for some “me-time” relaxation.

2) Focus On Pleasure

There’s nothing fancy about wine meditations. You don’t need to know a ton of technical details about fermentation, aging or other nuances like a sommelier.

You just need to focus most of your attention on enjoying your wine, not chugging it down as quickly as you can.

There are no right or wrong answers for what you experience during a wine meditation. You definitely don’t need to be a wine connoisseur either.

It’s totally okay if you don’t have a lot of knowledge about wine. As long as you enjoy drinking it, that’s all that matters. You’re good. 

3) Get Comfy And Casual

To get the most from a wine meditation, you need to be super relaxed and comfortable.

Since you’re not outside and you don’t need to impress anyone or look presentable, change into your comfiest casual home loungewear. There’s no shame in wearing those old sweatpants and tees.

When you do this, your brain will instantly know that it's time to unwind. This will act as your physical and mental trigger for relaxation. 

4) Build The Anticipation

Changing into your comfiest clothes is a great start but it's only the beginning. Preparation builds anticipation and getting into the right mindset is a good idea.

Find a nice glass that you’ll enjoy drinking from, preferably one that makes it easy to get your nose close to the action.

If you're drinking red wine, a big basined glass that narrows towards the top is a good bet. It's perfect for wafting all the aromas.

Next, break out some of your fav finger snacks to compliment the wine. This could be any variety of cheeses, dried fruits, crackers, or even more simply, a fresh baguette. This act of preparing the sides further builds the anticipation.

5) Clear Your Mind

Spend a minute or two focusing on your breathing. In fact, try a one-minute meditation to slow your breathing and heart rate.

Try to ignore any thoughts that come up while you're doing this. Just let them float away and don't beat yourself up if your mind doesn't clear. The aim here is to just settle down.

The more you practice meditation, the easier this will get, but it can be hard in the beginning. Go easy on yourself while you're getting comfortable with the idea of meditating.

If your mind still needs something to latch onto, then a good little trick is to take in the details of the labels on the bottle.

Look at the images, colors, fonts etc. Read the label on the wine. Sometimes, there’s a little story. Other times, it’s a well-written description of the wine. Either way, it’s a poetic prelude to your first sip and it’ll help clear your mind.

6) The First Pour & Sip

All your senses come to the party with a wine meditation. It’s the sights, sounds, smell and taste. Fill up your senses with every aspect of the experience.

Focus on the sounds of the wine as you pour and see it swish and swirl inside the glass.

Study how the wine looks in the glass. Examine the contents of the glass from different angles to get clues on things like age, the grape type, and even the alcohol content.

Feel the weight of it as you bring the glass towards you.

Notice the colors in the glass as it sloshes around.

Older wines can have more variety in color between the middle and rim of the glass. Storage and corkage can also affect the color.

You may also notice more "legs" on the inside of the glass if your wine has more alcohol in it.

Take in the smells as you bring the glass to your lips. Close your eyes and let your thoughts wash over you. Don't pass any judgment on the thoughts. Just let them be.

Breathe in slowly as you inhale the scent of the wine and then take your first sip and enjoy it. 

7) Savor Every Next Sip

After your first sip, explore the wine’s complexity further.

Anticipate the flavors you’re about to taste. Check which ones are the strongest and jump straight out at you. Then move onto the secondary aromas that are coming through.

What else can you find hints of?

Are you getting sweet or dry tones?

Is it light, medium, or full-bodied?

Is there any acidity or tartness there?

Can you sense any aftertaste?

And can you taste the same smells you noticed before? If not, what is coming through now?

Or, if you wanna just keep things simple, sit back and just enjoy it...slowly.

And it’s at this moment, you are officially doing a wine meditation - congratulations!

Drinking Wine Can Be Mindful, Not Just A Clutch

Lots of us drink the odd glass of wine to try to escape the stresses of the day, especially after work.

You’ve probably found that it helps you feel more relaxed but if you’re just chugging your wine, you’re missing out and not getting all of the full benefits.

Slow it down a lot and relax.

A wine meditation encourages you to take your time and immerse yourself in every aspect of drinking wine. Think of wine meditations as the perfect way to unplug in the evenings the tasty way.

You're really taking the time to savor everything about the experience. And by turning it into a mindful activity, you can reap the calming benefits of mindfulness meditation.

You are in the “here and now” of enjoying the wine and not thinking of anything else.

Life’s other bullshit is out of your mind. It’s just you, the wine, and nothing else.

We’ll raise our glasses to that!

Feel Better,

more on cubicle life