Where Wellness Meets Wine: the Rise of Alternative Therapies

Warrior pose and a glass of wine. What better combo? | Kevin Whipple / © Culture Trip
Warrior pose and a glass of wine. What better combo? | Kevin Whipple / © Culture Trip
Photo of Josephine Platt
Commissioning Editor11 March 2020

So you wouldn’t want to miss your yoga or Pilates class, but you enjoy the odd glass afterwards just as much. Now you can combine the two – blending the best of both worlds, so to speak. Culture Trip explores your options. Chin-chin!

Meditation, sound baths and yoga classes have taken off around the globe as wellness has become an important aspect of our lives. It’s all about raising consciousness, clearing internal blockages and creating a sense of calm. So why not combine it with a cheeky glass of wine? Here’s how.

Yoga is all about focus, and in New York they say that a drink can make you more flexible
Where better to enjoy champagne than in the place it was invented?

Sip bubbly between Pilates classes

Spa, Health Spa
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When in Champagne, you know what to do: the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa offers champers from its Leclerc Briant winery. But there’s also an emphasis on wellbeing – on being present, unwinding, and getting the body moving with some gentle fitness. Embracing wellness and the self-care movement, the spa is running regular Pilates and yoga retreats. Esteemed personal trainer Marilyn Grès is on hand to guide you through Pilates and its principles, whatever your level. So whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, this is the place to practise the plank followed by a glass of bubbly.

Bathe in red wine in London

Spa, Health Spa
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Red wine, like dark chocolate, has long been hailed as an antioxidant powerhouse, although both should be enjoyed in moderation. But how about sitting in a bath of red wine? The folk at West London spa Ella di Rocco seem to think it’s a good idea. In the spa’s Tuscany-inspired space, sangiovese, merlot and ciliegiolo wines fill its deep stone baths, which you’re invited to relax in – with a glass of wine in hand, of course. Also on offer are full-body massages using grapeseed oil, vine leaves and grape juice. Hello, wine therapy!

Adopt the tree pose, cocktail in hand

Yoga Studio
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In New York, you can enrol at Drunk Yoga, which was founded as a joke by Eli Walker, who claims that wine helps with flexibility. She introduced a tipple into the mix to “take the pressure out of the practice and turn it into a party”, and the idea took off. Sessions start with a happy hour, before you launch into a 45-minute vinyasa sequence. The focus is on community and having a good time as much as it is on yoga poses. Namaste responsibly.

Surf and drink after hours

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The Algarve is famous for its wine, which Bura Surfhouse celebrates in between catching waves on its equally famous shores. With three full days of surfing, including lessons from a qualified instructor and board rental, this retreat is an all-encompassing taster of the surf lifestyle. It’s open to complete beginners, as well as those with a bit of experience under their belt and intermediates: different levels of ability are split into three groups before reconvening at the end of the day over a drink by the pool. The last day of the retreat includes a visit to a local winery, so you’ll leave with more knowledge about the wines – and possibly the surf – than when you arrived.

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