Booze Cruise: Hard times on ice

Tuesday 10th, March 2015 / 17:34
By Jeff Jamieson

CALGARY — Oil is in the tank so you better adjust your tastes, Calgary. Everyone needs to chill out on the extravagant booze purchases for a while and get sensible. No more chugging Crystal Champagne from the bottle, no more Pappy Van Winkle boilermakers. Times are tough. We need to make wise choices with our money now, so it will be easier for us to slide back into hedonistic solipsism once oil is back over a hundred dollars a barrel.

Drinking super small production craft beer from the world’s most obscure producers is terrific, but can be a pricey habit. How does one continue to drink well-made beer without emptying the bank account? First of all, you should drink closer to home. Local craft brewers tend to have less transportation costs, duties and taxes levied on them and as such are often priced lower than their imported counterparts. Second, embrace the growler. Draught beer is always cheaper than its bottled brethren and in the case of some international beers it is often fresher, as a keg is a much better way to store beer than a bottle. Win-win!

So you really like to buy ultra-expensive whisky from all around the globe but since that severance package wasn’t what you expected you need to curtail your spending? My suggestion for the Scotch whisky lover is simple, stop turning up your nose at blends. There are hundreds of examples of delicious blended scotches on the market at a fraction of a price of the single malts. Go exploring and you will not be disappointed. As for Canadian whisky drinkers, Alberta Premium Rye Whisky is consistently highly rated, made in our own back yard, delicious, and dead cheap. If it is good enough for world-renowned whisky writer Jim Murray (who consistently rates it among Canada’s best rye whisky), it’s good enough for your newly broke ass.

It is very easy to get a little overboard with wine. But the great thing about wine is that there are fabulous examples of it at all price points. If you were crushing Champagne before the oil crash, its time to look into Cremant de Jura, If Napa Cabernet was your thing, maybe it’s time to explore some inexpensive Washington State offerings instead. If you used to inhale Montrachet with your lobster dinner, might I suggest looking into some Pollack and an Argentinian Chardonnay?

The most important thing to remember when watching your booze spending is to check that ego at the door. You do not need to go crazy, no one is judging you and if they are, why are you drinking with them? You need to ask yourself, “Am I buying this bottle because I don’t want to be judged at the party? Would I be buying this bottle if I was going home to have a drink by myself?” Then ask yourself, “Should I really be drinking at home by myself?” And then silence that conscience with good, cheap, booze.

, , ,