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Holiday Hangover Cures: What Works… and What Doesn’t!

Vinted on December 12, 2008 binned in best of, commentary, holidays
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Save a Prayer for The Morning After on 12seconds.tv
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It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when websites far & wide gather together in solidarity to take part in the time-honored tradition of posting Holiday Hangover cures.

And not a moment too soon.

If you’re like me, the stress of the holidays, combined with the outpouring of good emotion when getting together with loved ones and friends during the season, invariably leads to some drinking.

Rather than contribute to the cornucopia of hangover advice that will inundate your throbbing skulls this holiday season, I thought that I’d run through some examples of the sage advice and let you know what works – and what doesn’t work – for the Dude’s hangovers. This is based solely on my own experience, and is not intended as a warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. Your mileage, as they say, my vary…

Let us take a list from the self-help site Lifehackery.com, from their post 9 Ways to Deal With a Hangover. For the purpose of making my post more humorous, I’ve combined and condensed the list into 7 methods, and added my own two to start. So we’re back to nine hangover-related items, just not the same nine as on Lifehackery.com though all nine from Lifehackery.com are actually included. Got it? No? Crap. Oh well, let’s get started anyway.

9 Methods for Dealing with a Hangover – What Works, and What FAILS

  1. Abstinence

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is really and truly only one surefire way to prevent a hangover, and that is to Abstain from drinking alcohol, or at least to drink in moderation. If you’re like me, this may start out as a well-intentioned option during the holidays, but the road to Hangover Hell is paved with the puke of the well-intentioned holiday party-goer…

    Dude’s experience: RECOMMENDED (but unlikely).

  2. Hydration

    Most hangover symptoms are caused by dehydration. So, logically, drinking oodles of water to hydrate yourself when drinking alcohol will, in theory, help to prevent your hangover. This is really only effective when combined with a) relatively moderate consumption (of the booze, not the water) and b) maintaining adequate mental capacity to remember to drink oodles of water while you’re drinking your oodles of wine. Whoops!

    Dude’s experience: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  3. Sports Drinks & Fruit

    Fast-forward to the dreaded morning after your revelry. The theory behind these suggestions is that they a) help to hydrate you more quickly than water alone, and b) contain Vitamin C, both of which may help to decrease the length and amplitude of your hangover pain curve.

    The problem is that they also typically contain a relatively high acidic content – good luck keeping that down when you’re nursing a fragile hangover stomach.

    Dude’s experience: NOT RECOMMENDED

  4. Sleep/Puke

    Sure, sleep will help, and it has the added benefit of delaying a possible awkward meetup with the person that hooked up with the previous evening. You’re just not likely to get enough of it. Personally, I find it very, very difficult to sleep once the alcohol starts to leave my system (note: additional alcohol intake to promote further sleep is NOT recommended here).

    You might feel better when you yak, but when I toss the cookies, it lays me out and I’m useless for the next 30 hours or so. Not everyone feels better when they puke – some people actually feel worse.

    Dude’s experience: USE CAUTION

  5. Swim / Cold Shower Hmm… uhmmm…. riiiiight. I suppose that hypothermic shock would make you forget about your hangover for awhile. This so-called advice feels more like the prank of sick and twisted miscreant. Bottom line is that if someone recommended this “remedy” to me, and I was insane enough to actually try it, once I recovered I would hunt that person down and kick the living crap out of them.

    Dude’s experience: NFW. EPIC, EPIC FAIL!

  6. Sweat / Urinate

    People, this works. First, you need to ensure that you get water into your lame hungover self pronto after waking up. More water will help you flush out the nasty stuff in your system (like ethanol!) that is fueling your hangover. Additionally, moderate exercise (don’t overdo it there, Hercules!) can help get you moving, get your blood flowing, and get your sweat carrying off some of that nasty stuff as well. Just don’t forget the water!

    Dude’s experience: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  7. Hot & Spicy Food

    You need to be careful with this one, but I’ve found that it does, indeed, help to mitigate the effects of a hangover. Hot food – in terms of temperature and spice, will promote sweating, which will help to flush out your system. Go for a hot & spicy soup for bonus points, since that combo will also help to rehydrate you.

    Dude’s experience: RECOMMENDED (just not first thing the monring!)

  8. Baking Soda

    Apparently, mixing Baking Soda with water and drinking it is purported to help ease a hangover. I’ve got no idea if the science behind this is sound – or even if there is any science behind it. I just know that baking soda seems like something I would NOT want to be tasting when I’m nauseous.

    Dude’s experience: UNTESTED (but NOT recommended)

  9. Magnesium

    Magnesium is a migraine treatment, and therefore consuming foods high in magnesium might help to mitigate your hangover headache (assuming you’re not too nauseous to eat, that is). Veggies, nuts, and some teas are good sources. I haven’t tried this one myself, but I like veggies, nuts, and tea so I’m going to go ahead and recommend it – at least it’s good for your diet if not your hangover!

    Dude’s experience: RECOMMENDED

Here’s wishing you a happy (and hangover free) holiday time!

Cheers!
(images: 1WineDude.com, joemonster.org, sororitysecrets.com)

The Thanksgiving Wine Pick Poll!

Vinted on November 24, 2008 binned in holidays, wine polls

Ah…. Thanksgiving.

Far and away my favorite U.S. holiday.

I used to have a great deal of difficulty explaining Thanksgiving to my European and International friends. That is, until one day when, out of complete frustration during a conversation about Thanksgiving with a buddy of mine in the UK, I exclaimed:

“Look – it’s two days where Americans don’t have to work, don’t have to buy gifts for each other, where we get to sit around, eat, and watch American football; why wouldn’t it be our favorite holiday!?!”

That seemed to get through to them relatively easily, so it’s become my default explanation about Thanksgiving to non-U.S. citizens since that day.

The only thing that I don’t like about this greatest of all American holidays is having to give Thanksgiving meal wine pairing recommendations. That’s because I find it largely impossible, and ultimately pointless.

Most Thanksgiving celebrations are a recipe for wine disaster: a massive variety of food; side items that totally overpower the main courses with their richness, sugar content, and robust flavors; a large group of people spanning several generations and all with different wine drinking preferences.

Search for “Thanksgiving wine pairings” on Google and you will get almost 1.2 million hits.

Good luck with that…

Because given the complex and unique situation that is the traditional U.S. Thanksgiving dinner, and you have a strong argument for all of them being ‘right’. The answer is simple: drink what you like!

So, rather than telling you what you ought to drink on this coming Turkey Day, I thought it would be fun for you to tell me (and all of the 1WineDude.com readers!) what you’re drinking at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner table!

Take the poll below and let us know!

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Looking forward to seeing what you’re imbibing to make your relatives a bit easier to bear with turkey dinner this year!


Cheers (and Happy Thanksgiving)!
(images: lbcpastor.files.wordpress.com, diamondvues.com)

Happy July 4th – Vive la France! Or Portugal…

Vinted on July 4, 2008 binned in holidays

July 4th. The day that we in the U.S. celebrate American independence.

It’s fitting that we laud the bravery, gumption, and raw intelligence of our founding fathers, as well as the courage of those who fought to make our country free to chart its own destiny.

I suggest doing that with burgers and grill-friendly wines.

What we don’t commonly do is celebrate the French ingenuity and general affairs meddling (at great financial expense to them, I might add) that made life so annoying for the Brits that they more-or-less gave up and let us have this great country.

So maybe that should be burgers and grill-friendly French wines.

Now, before you write me off for spouting heresy about not drinking American wine on an American holiday, consider these tidbits:

So maybe that’s actually burgers and… Madeira…? Man, I gotta think about that one…

These facts are indisputable: our Founding Fathers fondness for their vino is preserved forever in their very own handwriting. Not only were they booze hounds, but they were men of letters. When guys like Washington weren’t writing eloquent prose to the budding new government (mostly complaining that they didn’t have nearly enough resources being sent their way to even make a dent in the larger, better funded, and more skilled British army), they were writing home about their wine.

So there you have it – American gumption, French meddling, British mistakes, and Portuguese wine.

The makings of a truly Liberated nation!

Have a safe and happy 4th! Cheers!

(images: ririanproject.com, vacationtofrance.com, madeira-web.com)

It’s Memorial Day – For God’s Sake, Drink Some Zin!

Vinted on May 26, 2008 binned in holidays

For those of you in the U.S. of A. – apologies again to my (now probably seriously dwindling) International readers! – it’s Memorial Day.

That time when we in the U.S. partake in the American pastimes of family gatherings, and patriotic remembrance, and – best of all – charing meat over an open flame until it is covered in crispy, tasty, blackened carcinogens.

And also trying not burn our houses down.

There is but one method of cooking appropriate for Memorial Day – and that is good ol’ fashioned grilling.

And for good ol’ American grilling, there is but one (okay, maybe not just one but certainly one of the best) good ol’ American wine to pair with your holiday backyard barbecue masterpiece…

…And that wine is Zinfandel.

Never mind that Zin is actually the southern Italian grape Primitivo. Or that it’s probably originally from Croatia. If there is one country to embrace a melting-pot Italo-Croatian creation, it’s the good ol’ U.S. of A., baby! Zin is the (fruit) bomb. It’s over-the-top jammy goodness (we’re talking the unadulterated Zin grape here, not the sweet, blushy White Zin). It’s so good that it’s got its own fanclub.

Zin ROCKS.

Especially at the BBQ. That’s because Zin’s flavor is so bold that it stands up to just about any char grilled goodness (including your famous, spicy-sweet, secret-recipe BBQ sauce) that you might concoct this long holiday weekend.

Zin has been grown in some way/shape/form in the U.S. since the 1800s, taking off in CA after
speculators turned from the Gold Rush to agriculture for their fortunes. As a result, CA has a good amount of old Zin vines. And the older the vine, the lower the grape yields, the more concentrated the fruit, and the higher the potential quality of the resulting wines.

Zin grapes tend to ripen a bit unevenly in tight clusters. What this means is that if most of the grapes are left to achieve full ripeness on the vine, some of the grapes in the same cluster will have shriveled into concentrated, raisiny goodness. Hello, alcohol! (More Zin facts and history can be found in The Oxford Companion to Wine).

Like us Americans, who wear their hearts on their sleeves, Zin grapes are thin-skinned. Also like us Americans, Zin wines are brazen and bold (okay, and sometimes a bit obnoxious). They are not afraid to tell you what’s on their mind. And what’s on their mind is tons of in-your-face, jammy fruit. And booze (Zin wines can reach alcohol contents of 14.5% or higher).

That fruit is gonna successfully go toe-to toe with anything that you can throw at it this weekend – just like us Americans.

As for recommendations:
For those on a tight budget, you’d be hard-pressed to find better Zin value for your buck than Ravenswood.

For a bit more cash, Frog’s Leap makes a killer, earth-friendly Zin.

On the “let’s splurge!” end of things, I like Duckhorn’s Paraduxx Zin blend.

So this holiday weekend get your party on, get your grill on, and get your Zin on. And have a safe and happy one (when Due here went to the emergency room on Memorial Day a few years ago, the hospital staff told me that they expect spikes in emergency room injury visits due to accidents during this holiday weekend – don’t be one of them). Enjoy responsibly!


Cheers!

(images: healthline.com, winecountrygetaways.com, alderbrook.com, bbqreport.com)

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