Don’t panic, but …

I have some disturbing news from Drinks Digest: there’s not just a Champagne shortage in Australia, but also a hot chip famine.

What fresh hell is this? Have we not been through enough in the past few years?

Well, to be honest, the Champagne shortage appears to only be affecting some small retailers. The big chains have heaps of the stuff.

Sales are also through the roof, with pink bubbles going off like a frog in a sock. They’re up 57% at Coles compared to last year.

While regular readers of HouseGoesHome know I’ve always loved a pink wine, Aussies were a bit behind the eight ball on Champagne Rosé until recently.

I remember quoting Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer from in his The State of Play of Champagne in Australia 2018 report: “Even after steady rises over the past five years, Australia continues to lag far behind, consuming just one-third of the Champagne Rosé of other top markets, and ranking last besides Belgium among the top 10. For every 28 bottles of champagne popped in Australia, just one is pink.”

But we are quickly catching up.

As for the other crisis, don’t panic, but … a nationwide potato shortage means pubs around the country may be forced to find an alternative to hot chips on their menus.

A combination natural disasters, international pressures and transport issues have created chaos for the Australian hospitality industry, with potato prices set to rise up to 40 per cent.

“The increase in the price of potatoes puts more financial pressure on pubs already facing increased costs including power, beer excise, drinks over the bar, transport and staff,” AHA national president David Canny said.

“Already, in the lead-up to Christmas, venues are being warned to start using other veggies with meals instead of the traditional chip, or, of course, there’s always the healthy salad option for pub-goers.”

4 Pines operations manager Tarek Ibrahim told The Daily Telegraph: “I will order 10 boxes [of chips] but only get two. Very soon people will order fish and chips, and not get the chips. We’ve ever so slightly reduced portion sizes, but we may have to soon put up signs to explain why if we reduce them further.

“We’ve always been extremely generous with chips as potatoes were always so cheap, but now they’re almost as expensive as the protein.”

As regular readers of HouseGoesHome would also know, I spend many a Sunday night at 4 Pines and DD looks forward to a weekly parmie and chips there, so this is devastating news.

As for why I’m discussing chips and Champagne … well, yesterday was another crazy day in Alana land and my brain isn’t working, so I’m stealing from my booze newsletter, which I slapped together last night while attending a virtual tasting of Manly Spirits whiskies hosted by my friend Oliver.

I decided I really needed to get my newsletter out today or not bother as everyone will be switching off their computers for Christmas soon.

My computer switches off on Friday and I’m gallivanting tonight, so this may or may not be my final blog post before Christmas.

If it is, have a brilliant one and thank you for being there with me during the highs and lows of my year.

Song of the day: Bill Nighy “Christmas is all around” (I LOVE Bill)

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