Switching from red wine to what???…

A white house on the road to Roundstone with two historic buildings on the grounds.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”  
“Ireland has been used as a location for several famous films including Star Wars, The Princess Bride, Braveheart, and Harry Potter.”

We’re back from Clifden and grocery shopping. Everything has been packed away into the two tiny refrigerators and vegetable drawers. We have to be especially careful not to purchase food that must be frozen.
Ruins of the shore of a bygone era.
The tiny freezer in the small refrigerator in the laundry room barely has room for a thing. Our ice cubes and trays occupy 40% of the total space, the remaining left for what is hopefully enough to get us through one week until we shop again.
With over 90 minutes of driving time to head to Clifden and back, the closest supermarket, we don’t care to make the trip more than once a week. We’ve already scoured the village for sightseeing opportunities and have exhausted our options. 
Once we were settled here and I was off all pain medications, once again, we put our usual “happy hour” on the agenda. My goal has been to consume no more than 177 ml, equivalent to two 3 oz. Glasses of red wine on the days we imbibe. Its been a relatively easy goal to achieve and maintain.
These dilapidated farm buildings represent a period of strife in Ireland when many left the country due to the potato famine.
We prepare dinner and don’t drink alcohol for the remainder of the evening. We spend one-hour chatting and sipping our chosen adult beverage, and afterward, I switch to Pellegrino Sparkling Springwater (no alcohol) while Tom returns to his usual iced tea. This works for us.  
We don’t imbibe so much that it impacts our health, well-being, and quality of sleep. Once we’re on the cruise, with drinks included based on our priority in the Crown & Anchor Society, I will continue this regiment while Tom may have a final drink with or after dinner.
Here in Ireland, it’s been difficult for me to find a red wine that I not only like but is also affordable at a price I’m willing to pay. To my taste, the average cost of a moderately good red wine, preferably a cabernet sauvignon or merlot, is at least Euro 12, US $13.50 plus tax.
A pair of Connemara ponies are not only white but also varying colors.
This same quality of wine in South Africa, the home of many great vineyards, was at Euro 2.67, US $3.00. Even the finest imported wines in South Africa were rarely over Euro 8.89, US $10.
Several weeks ago, there was a sale on six bottles of wines at the SuperValu market. (There isn’t an actual liquor store within a half-day drive). It was priced at Euro 30, US $33.75 for the half dozen bottles.  
I’d seen these same wines from Chile at SuperValu priced at Euro 12, US $13.50 each but hadn’t purchased any. But, for the excellent price and few other affordable options, we bought six bottles of red.  
It’s not as if I’m a wine connoisseur. I’m not. I hadn’t had any alcoholic drinks or wine for over 20 years and only started drinking wine a few years ago on cruise ships, finding my taste buds weren’t as picky or refined as they’d been in the 80s.  
Another photo of the village of Roundstone, population 214.
Still, four bottles of the red wines sit on the counter in the laundry room. I can’t get it down, and nor am I going to force myself to drink something I don’t like.  After doing a little research, I decided that I needed to find something more suitable for me while we were here in Ireland.
I prefer a lower alcohol beverage since my tolerance is relatively low. I found a couple of low alcohol options online…Ketel One Botanicals and Smirnoff Vodka Infusions, each with 25% less alcohol and infused with flavorful botanicals.
SuperValu doesn’t carry the Ketel One brand, but they easily had the Smirnoff brands and flavors. We purchased two of the smaller than usual bottles in two flavors. It is suggested that sparkling water or other clear non-sugary mixers be added with ice. 
Black and white cow.
The low alcohol content appeals to me because no sugar is added, and the carb count is zero. Each bottle was priced at Euro 13.60, US $15.30. Each serving is equivalent to a shot glass, and each bottle should last me for quite some time. Each bottle contains 750 ml, 25 ounces, the same amount in a bottle of wine.  
This beverage will last me twice as long as a bottle of wine, and if the taste is good, making the change while here will be worthwhile. Traveling the world doesn’t mean we’ll always be able to get familiar products at prices we’ve become accustomed to. But, it certainly inspires us to try something new and different.
Tonight we’ll toast to all of you!  Have a fantastic Friday!
Photo from one year ago today, July 12, 2018:
We laughed so hard when we saw this baby baboon grabbing its mom’s hair to hold on while sitting in this unlikely pose. For more details, please click here.

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