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Okanagan-Taste

Going dry for January

This may not be the year to buckle down for dry January – no judgment either way – and maybe not even the year for resolutions. 

No one in my circle is really talking about either of these traditions this year, though Veganuary is on the upswing.

Dry January is thought to have begun in the U.K. around 2012 or 2013, encouraging people to give up booze and reap the health benefits after a holiday season of indulgence.

If January doesn’t work for you, Dry February supports the Canadian Cancer Society, learn more here, and there is always Sober October.

Maybe thoughtful moderation is the key, instead of going cold turkey this year? Here are a few options to consider.

Our cider colleagues to the south are celebrating their second annual Dry Cider January, thanks to a campaign by the American Cider Association. After a cornucopia of cookies in December, the goal is to find zero-sugar ciders to enjoy while working on shedding holiday pounds.

And since it’s Veganuary, resolve to tempt your taste buds with a vegan creation – you can find recipes anywhere online, but you can start with the Veganuary website for inspiration -- paired with a dry cider.

Baked apples drizzled in maple syrup with a dry apple cider (note, ciders are vegan), might be a nice, healthy treat for a Friday night binge-watching marathon.

Dry hopped beers are both dry and can often be vegan as well, a quick Google search says stouts are the brews of choice, paired with braised, roasted, or smoked dishes. 

Why not your favourite local stout paired with a roasted veggie dip or hummus? Or instead of a beef stew, how about lentils or beans as they key ingredient?

Of course, the easiest option is probably embracing dry wines for an alternate “dry” January. 

Thankfully many dry wines are great with vegetables, and if you’ve resolved to try some new wines or dishes, here are some pairing ideas:

  • Sauvignon Blanc with zucchini fritters
  • Dry Riesling with a broccoli and black bean stir fry
  • Oaked Chardonnay with butternut squash soup
  • Cabernet Sauvignon with grilled portobello mushrooms
  • Merlot with eggplant ragout
  • Malbec with vegetarian chilli

As we tighten our belts in January and welcome 2021, whether you go dry by cutting out alcohol, cut out residual sugar, or give veggies the spotlight this month – or some combo thereof – take a moment or two and acknowledge a new year of health, whatever making healthier choices means to you.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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