April 16, 2012:
It’s been many years since we bought a bottle of wine that cost more than $5. Alcohol was one of the first extras we cut down on to save a bit more money. We went from buying $7 glasses of wine or $10 bottles without so much as a second thought to buying $2.50 bottles of Trader Joe reds or only ordering alcohol during happy hour. But this year we’ve had enough – we could no longer stand the taste of the “two buck chucks.” So either we just don’t drink at all or we’ll spend two dollars more for a better tasting organic red wine.
The occasional times we have a drink or two somewhere, we don’t drink without abandon like we used to because we’re now thinking about cost and our health. This is not a bad thing. One time I nursed a small glass of Sangria for a good hour until the waitress finally gave up on asking me if I wanted another. We no longer drink to drink like we used to. There’s gotta be another incentive – like ambiance, for example. And our ambiance this weekend was in the form of a small vineyard in Skagit Valley, near the tulip farm we visited, with views of nothing but mountains and some of the greenest pastures we’ve ever seen. It was here that we got to sample some wines and fell in love with this Reisling. At first we balked at the price, but the wine was refreshingly light, crisp, and slightly sweet, and so we did something we hadn’t done in years – spend $11 on a bottle of wine. And you know what, we felt good about it. Later that night, we had dinner in the form of free food at an art gallery and tortilla chips and salsa. Budgeting, curious cranes style.