I’m a holiday guy. Friends are back in town. The air is fresh and crisp. There’s garland on things that there shouldn’t be. 

There’s one tradition, however, that I could do without: the seasonal cold. 

It always begins the same way—the sneeze quickly followed by the wheeze. Suddenly, everyone is toasting at the holiday parties while I’m up in bed taking anything that ends in “-quil.” 

I know, however, that I am not alone in these trials. Indeed, many of you may be perusing this very blog while pulling at a tissue box. 

The cold, hard truth about the common cold is that you just have to ride it out. You can take zinc-this and vitamin C-that, but it’s still going to knock you off your feet for a couple of days. 

Never fear, wine is here. 

Now, I’m a Southern boy, and while grandma is teaching you how to say “yes sir, no ma’am,” grandpa is teaching you about bourbon. So in exchange for this little west coast-inspired tip I’m about to give you, don’t go ratting me out for betraying my heritage. 

Tea, whiskey, honey and lemon constitute the staple I call a “toddy.” 

(I think it goes without saying that what follows is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your ailments, and the FDA hasn’t exactly chimed in on this matter.)

But who says we can’t give an ol’ remedy a West Coast refresh? 

That’s right—wine can be substituted or added to a toddy alongside rum, brandy or whiskey for a soothing beverage that might not cure your cold, but will certainly make it a little more bearable. A slightly sweet, slightly spicy red varietal will do nicely. 

Here’s a few recipes to get you started on the wine toddy this winter: 

1. Gothamist’s Citrus Wine Toddy   

2. Food.com’s Rum and Red Wine Hot Toddy

3. Glue and Glitter’s Vegan Red Wine Hot Toddy 

Sip, enjoy, and stay warm and well!