For some people, Valentine’s Day is a celebration for couples who want to enjoy each other which can be beautiful to see. But for a lot of people, single, partnered or otherwise, Valentine’s Day can be a drain and can dampen one’s self-esteem. So this year, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take a moment to embrace what you do have—yourself.
There is nothing better than falling in love with yourself and treating yourself to the simple things in life. You can enjoy your friends, partners, kids or even just spending quality time with yourself can all be ways to celebrate the lovey-dovey holiday. So for people who would rather do something a bit unconventional, here is a simple, yet satisfying guide on putting yourself first for Valentine’s Day.
Read your favorite book
Between working, being responsible and catching up on much-needed rest, leisure reading sometimes falls to the waist side. So, today, take this time to grab your favorite book you’ve been dying to read and grab a bottle of wine and enjoy a nice bubble bath. Catch-up on all those Black romance novels you’ve been dying to read.
McAuley offers a simple, yet educational guide for pairing wines with your favorite foods. So call your best friends and make it a party!
Understanding the body of a wine
There are few wine rules that are never meant to be broken but one of them is when you’re thinking about food and wine pairings, the body has to match: so light foods with light-bodied wines, medium foods with medium-bodied wines, and full-bodied with heavier dishes. I think when you have nailed the match; the wine and food should almost be in a tug-of-war as to which one had more of a lasting impact on the palate. A Sancerre with a mixed green salad will work because one isn’t much stronger than the other, but if you have a Sancerre with a Rib Eye? The wine gets lost.
Pairing foods to compliment
The aromatics in a bottle of wine are where the entire flavor profile comes from and the majority of flavors in wine fall under the fruit category. Other top categories include earthy, woody, herbal, floral, grassy, spicy, and vegetal (veggie-like). Flavor is where you can be a little creative because a home run of a pairing can come from a wine that has similar flavors do the dish, such as pairing a Chianti (which is very cherry-like) with a duck in a cherry demi-glace sauce, or a home run can come from flavors that contrast, like pairing a tawny Port (which is very fig-like) with a blue cheese.
Using structure to balance
Unlike flavor, which is detected all through the nose, structure refers to the elements that we actually experience by our taste buds such as acidity (sour), sugar (sweet), and tannin (bitter). Wine’s biggest value-add to a dish can probably be pointed to its structure being used to balance a dish. Acid and tannin can balance fat and umami and salt. Sugar can offset sourness, heat and saltiness. So once you’ve determined what level of the body you need for the dish, you can look further to structural elements in the wine to balance the dish when it hits your palate. A semi-dry aka an “off-dry” Riesling (that’s a wine with high acid content and the phrase of semi-dry or off-dry denotes there is a little bit of residual sweetness in the wine but it’s not “sweet, sweet”) is awesome with spicy, fatty Asian food, for example, because the high acid cuts through the fat and the sugar balances the heat from the spice. A big, bold Cabernet can do wonders for a steak because the tannin is high which balances the fat and umami in red meat. When I am enjoying a clambake I generally am soaking every bite of food in melted butter, so I knew I needed a high-acid wine to cut through it, which is why we make our rosé and chardonnay from early-harvest fruit because the earlier you pick the grapes, the higher the acid level in their juices and accordingly, the higher the acid level in the wine.
Fall in love with tea, again
If you don’t drink alcohol that’s ok, too. I’ve been slowly but surely falling back into my tea drinking habits and I can say that drinking tea calms me so much. I also love collecting cute mugs, too. You can check out Rachel Allene’s collection or you can shop the Fabulize Shop for the exclusive Black female superheroes collection.
Just remember, no matter what you do, whether you just relax and listen to music, play video games just remember that loving yourself is the most important task you can do for yourself. It might be hard sometimes but indulging in the simple things life has to offer is a revolutionary act of self-love. Enjoy your day! Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.