Think of this column like Heloise "Uncorked." Today we tackle two topics I hope my gentle readers will never or rarely have to consider that of removing red wine stains from carpet and clothing and curing hangovers, neither of which are easily resolved.
Now I generally think of wine consumers as being very civilized, but occasionally accidents happen. Glasses of red wine spill on white carpets and splash out on white blouses, tablecloths and napkins. When this happens reach immediately for the plain old Morton's table salt. Do not let the spot dry. Spread copious amounts of salt into the stain and allow the salt to draw out as much of the stain as possible. Leave salt on the stain for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the salt and then pour any clear liquid that bubbles over the stain. Sparkling water or soda water is good to have on hand for this purpose, but white sparkling wine will also work as long as it is not Dom Pérignon. If spot is not totally removed, try mild soap and water.
If you live in a house with light carpets, you should not throw red wine, but it would be wise to invest in a professional wine spot-removing product like Wine Away available at most wine shops or online from International Wine Accessories. Use as directed, but try salt first.
Just as accidents sometimes happen with red wine, civilized people sometimes over imbibe and end up with a hangover. My most prescient advice is not to over consume, but for those who might, consider this.
Follow instructions somewhat like those appearing on prescription drugs. Do not drink wine on an empty stomach. Always drink wine with food. Always drink water before, intermittently, and after drinking wine.
It is especially important to drink water before retiring for the evening. Experts recommend up to two quarts, but if consuming that much water, plan to sleep on the toilet. It is also good to take an aspirin or an ibuprofen along with water before retiring.
Wine is a civilized beverage and should be consumed moderately, along with food. It is a beverage to be analyzed, discussed and compared, but not gulped. Moderate consumption by most experts is defined as about two four ounce pours daily of red wine for maximum health benefits.
Do not mix a lot of different wines. If dining where each course of a multi-course meal is served with a different wine, sip judiciously. I know this requires discipline, but you will thank me the morning after. If champagne is served with the first course, be especially judicious. Champagne over consumption is especially lethal.
On the off chance, civilized reader, you over imbibe; first and foremost, do not drive. Have someone drive you home. Once home, hit the water, take an aspirin, and go to bed where you will likely stay the better portion of the next day.
Some people believe in the old "Hair of the dog" theory and that the best cure is a sip of the hair of the dog that bit you the night before. Ginger ale or Sprite might be a better alternative.
Also strange as this may seem, sometimes a greasy hearty breakfast or a burger coupled with a soft drink or iced tea helps mitigate the symptoms. If all of this advice fails and you end up hugging the porcelain for the better part of the day after, there is this advice attributed to Frank Sinatra. "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."