[Video Transcript]

My Experience with IKEA and Non-Alcoholic Wine

Hello there! This is Sonya from Love Being Alcohol Free. I wanted to hop on and tell you about an interesting experience I had at IKEA on Friday. I love going to IKEA and I haven’t been there for years. We went down to grab a few odds and ends for rearranging the boys’ bedrooms and getting ready for the new school year.  When we were done with our shopping I went to the marketplace – the Swedish market place where they have all the food and other goodies.

I happened to be standing behind a lady at the checkout and she had a bottle of wine on the counter to buy and I figured immediately it wasn’t an alcoholic wine because it wouldn’t have been a licensed place (I assumed anyway).

I sort of sidled around a little bit so I could see the label and it just confirmed, you know, it was an apple and lingonberry drink and it was a sparkling wine. Something about it caught my eye, which I thought was interesting – obviously I’m avoiding that kind of thing these days (bottles of wine), or more like simply not including it in my life.

Something about it attracted me and I felt like I wanted it. I knew it wasn’t alcoholic so I didn’t really have that effect but I thought, why can’t I have a nice glass or a bottle of non-alcoholic wine?

So, I left the line and I went to find where she had got it from and found there were two different bottles. One was (I think) a sparkling pear (I haven’t tried yet, actually!) and the other one was the apple and lingonberry. So I got one of each and I thought “well, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bottle of non-alcoholic wine before”.  And in the past I would have certainly turned my nose up at it. I would have thought it was very unsophisticated and very un-classy to be drinking non-alcoholic wine – I mean, how ridiculous!

But something drew me to it and I thought “oh, why not, there’s no harm in it is there?” But in the back but in my mind I was thinking, “what attracted me?” But I didn’t worry too much about it. So, I bought two bottles home and popped them in the fridge and told Tony about my experience later on. Being Friday afternoon, we were all just waiting for Tony to come home from work and we were going to go out to the movies together to see a kids movie that’s out at the moment so I had about half an hour to spare. Normally when I’m home I rush around and do things.  But you know, it’d been a big day shopping so I thought I’d sit down and read the IKEA catalogue that I had brought home.  And I sat down with the cup of tea and I was flicking through.  And further to this wine discussion, I found this photo. See that? There’s a couple sitting there with a glass of wine each and it caught my eye. I didn’t have the… it wasn’t an urge for the alcohol, I don’t believe.

It was interesting that it was a Friday (afternoon), which had typically been my end of the week wind down and I would always look forward to a drink about that time.  But it wasn’t so much (the time of week), I think it was more the look and the feel of the occasion. Yes, the wine glasses are what caught my eye, but I wasn’t craving it or feeling like I wanted an alcoholic drink.  So just seeing that photo just added (onto the experience) of seeing the bottle and buying it and had me quizzing what my interest in it was!

As I said, I didn’t have the sense that I wanted an alcoholic drink. That wasn’t in my mind, I wasn’t craving it, I wasn’t going to go and get one. I didn’t want to start drinking again.  But something about the vision of the shape of the bottle and the vision of the glasses on the table caught my attention.  I know that sometimes seeing a glass of white wine, with the cool condensation on the outside, sometimes is the thing that will make me gasp.  And I have to go through my mental processes to go, “Now, you don’t want that! You know what that goes!”

I thought about it for a while. I discussed it with Tony and I decided that what it was, was very much the association. I decided – I chose to decide – that it was the association with the occasion – with sitting down and enjoying a nice table setting, a nice meal and the company of someone I love to be with,  drinking something that was tasty.  I think it was more that than anything else. So my first point was that I choose to believe it was the association with the nice occasion, the attractive wine glass shape and the attractive bottle shape.

Now onto my second point.  (This is) that what was interesting is that seeing someone else buy a bottle of non-alcoholic wine – I think this actually validated it for me that it’s okay for me to have a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.  And I think the significance of that is that, on the flip side, when we see other people drinking alcoholic beverages, we assume it’s the same as well as we believe it’s okay for us as well – so there’s that validation.

So it’s interesting to see, for me at this stage, two and a bit years down the track, that I have an association with the atmosphere and the enjoyable nature of sitting down to drink a glass of wine.  But also the validation of those around me that other people will be drinking the same thing. We actually had to pop back to IKEA yesterday to grab some extra bits and pieces that I couldn’t get in the car on my own without Tony there. I went through to grab something else at the Sweedish Market Place – and someone else is buying two bottles!

I just found it interesting that people like this! I’ll do a bit of a review of it later in another place.  We’ll talk about the wines, because I am interested now, in the fact that there are lots of non-alcoholic wine out there – and what they taste like, and what sort of experience you have when you drink them. Obviously not, you know, the drunken kind!

So I just wanted to share that with you. These are the day-to-day experiences I often have and things that we deal with on a daily basis when we’ve decided to make a change of lifestyle. I just wanted to share that with you in case you have the same experience and to understand just sort of my thought process I go through to manage that and to stick to my guns and to still love being alcohol free, no matter what.

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