Sniff, Swirl… Downward Dog
I was teasing our adventurous Executive Wine Editor Lettie Teague the other day, saying I would love to see her pen a future Wine Matters column on wine and yoga. She laughed at the idea, but apparently there is a growing trend in the unlikely pairing.
Dave Romanelli, a yoga instructor at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica and Venice, California, and Angela Gargano, a yoga instructor and owner of Bliss Flow Yoga in Madison, Wisconsin, have teamed up to lead wine and yoga retreats throughout the U.S. and abroad. In October, they’re taking groups to Umbria.
This past May, DeLoach Vineyards started offering weekend-long yoga retreats at the winery’s private guesthouse in California’s Russian River Valley. In addition to twice-daily yoga sessions led by Bay Area instructor Rosemary Garrison, guests attend a vegetarian-cooking class taught by winery chef Cyndicy Coudray, wine tastings and a four-course dinner starring ingredients from the property’s 18,000-square-foot organic garden and pairings from DeLoach’s cellar. The retreats have been in such demand that DeLoach plans to offer day retreats by reservation next year for groups of six or more.
In September, 25-year-old sommelier Mark Bright (he’s worked at Michael Mina, San Francisco) and his partner, Ola Fendert (chef and owner of Oola, San Francisco), are opening a new restaurant called Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant. The opening coincides with the debut of their upstairs neighbor, Cocoon Urban Day Spa. Yoga classes paired with wine tastings will be a monthly offering, so instead of ending a 90-minute flow-yoga class with shavasana (relaxation pose), you finish with a guided wine tasting.
Serious yogis are probably deeply meditating over what they must perceive as a perverse new trend. I’m doubting a glass of Bordeaux would do anything to improve my Warrior One or Half Lotus pose, but out of curiosity, I just may have to try.