Spending time with people you love is, surely, one of life's greatest joys. But there are some joys that are actually best done alone — including savoring a glass of wine.
As much as we all claim to love "me time" (and millennials are often witheringly branded as the "me generation"), modern humans actually aren't great at spending time alone. In fact, we'd literally rather give ourselves electric shocks than sit by ourselves with nothing to do, according to one disturbing study out of the University of Virginia. The fast pace of email, the ubiquity of smartphones and our constant connectivity are partly to blame for our inability to simply be alone with our thoughts. But it also stems, scientists believe, from our desire for constant productivity.
It's worth remembering how valuable solitary downtime can be. Spending intentional time alone — that means no work emails, and no Gchatting your friends — is important for our well-being and happiness.
Studies show that too much time with others have detrimental effects on our work and home lives. But there's some research takes it even further, suggesting a bit of solitude can improve your social life, memory and mood. Solitude can even make it easier to make decisions. Alone time doesn't have to be lonely, either; it can be used as a break from your hectic life to actively do something you really enjoy.
One way to truly benefit from solitude is to savor a glass of wine. While drinking wine isn't the only relaxing solitary activity on the table (bubble baths, anyone?), it is an activity that arguably gets better when done alone. Unlike mindlessly inhaling Ben & Jerry's, properly tasting a glass of wine demands your full attention. Unlike hard alcohol, wine is delicate in both taste and smell. There's texture, body, color and smell — and that's just in the first sip.
If you don't take time to savor each sip, you'll be missing out on a lot of complexity. "When I'm alone, my response to a wine is more frank. Which means I get a more honest read," wine writer Cathy Huyghe wrote for WineTastetv. Not to mention that, for all its popularity and accessibility among thirsty millennials, wine still maintains an air of classiness. Sipping vino simply feels more romantic than swiping on Tinder (although no judgment if you want to combine the activities).
We're not advocating for the kind of drinking alone that could be a warning sign for alcoholism — there's a difference between drinking alone and drinking while lonely. But no one should feel bad about having a glass of wine sans company. As the New York Times put it last year, "Some people may shy away from regular wine drinking as self-indulgent or hedonistic, and they would not be wrong."
While it may be hard to escape your family (not to mention coworkers, friends and neighbors), today's a day you can claim for yourself.
There's no better way to ensure your mind gets some well-deserved peace and quiet than by enjoying a glass (or two). Just uncork a bottle of wine, swirl and swallow.