Fitness Trainer Nicole Winhoffer on Red Wine and Pacing Yourself

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Nicole Winhoffer is the global trainer for Adidas Women and a personal trainer to the likes of Stella McCartney, Spike Jones and Molly Sims, and for a little more than a year now, she’s been teaching her special NW fitness method to classgoers in New York City.

“It’s been growing so fast that I don’t sleep,” she told me, cheeks flushed pink after her 9 a.m. class at Bandier’s Flatiron location. Winhoffer started teaching the public out of her apartment building’s basement after receiving thousands of emails a day through her website. Word travels fast when you’re a former Broadway performer and you worked with Madonna and all of her dancers for four years.

The “fitness artist” talks about red wine, vodka and dance parties. And no, she’s not allowed to tell you what Madonna drinks.

On Her Parents

My dad is German and my mom is Filipino. So there’s this free-natured spirit of art and culture and then the other stereotype of discipline. The Filipino side is all about celebrating with buffet-style dinners that can serve 100 people fried pig, and then there’s my dad having, like, one beer and a schnitzel. I know it’s a stereotype, but there really is this dichotomy of abundance and minimalism with them.

On Not Drinking

If I’m preparing for a photo shoot or a video, I stick to a pretty strict diet that doesn’t have alcohol in it. Drinking makes me feel bloated, and it slows down my mind a bit—it doesn’t work as quickly. So if I’m preparing for a big project, I don’t have alcohol. Otherwise, though, I usually drink around twice a week. Basically, I drink when it tastes good with my food, and I drink when … I feel like drinking.

On Red, Red Wine

I love the taste of red wine, specifically amarone and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. And I like to drink it out of proper red wine glasses—that kind of goblet with the bowl that helps you smell it. The best drink I ever had was a big glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the rooftop of the Fasano hotel in Rio de Janeiro. It had an infinity pool and the best view of both the favelas and of Ipanema Beach—it was just so beautiful.

On “the Nose”

I’m learning about it more. When I first started getting into wine and people would describe the scent as “chalky” and “oaky” and “woody” and “there’s a bit of strawberry and blueberry,” I was like, What? Now I’m interested in trying to come up with my own descriptions, imagining what the scent reminds me of from my own experience.

On Pacing Herself

I go out with my dancer friends a lot, and I drink Tito’s vodka on those nights. I pay attention to the sugar content, so I take it on the rocks with lemon and lime slices or a splash of soda. I don’t like to dilute the alcohol with too much else, so that I remain conscious of how much I’m drinking by the taste of it. If you have a Long Island Iced Tea or something that tastes really good because it’s covered with sugar, you’re not aware of how much alcohol is in the drink, and then you start drinking a lot a lot a lot. I like to sip Tito’s in small doses and stick to the purest form of the alcohol in order to give my body an awareness of what, and how much, I’m drinking.

On Partying at Chez Winhoffer

I’m a really casual girl. Eventually I would love to have a dining area with 100 wine goblets and a really nice place to entertain my friends and have dance parties. Dance is really important to me obviously! For now, though, I’ll always have a bottle of Tito’s and a nice bottle of red, but people end up drinking whatever they bring from the deli across the street, in whatever glassware is available. It’s all about the music and dancing.

On Exhaling

Sometimes I have a drink by myself after a long day. I don’t take a lot of baths, but I’m trying now to do things in my life that I don’t normally do. I’m always on the go and hyper, and I guess that’s why I didn’t take the time to have a bath before. So now I’ll have a nice glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in a big goblet, in a bath I make with Le Labo bubbles that smell so good. I’ll put on good music, turn down the lights, burn a Diptyque candle and just relax.

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