Drinking Rules

Inside Musician Skylar Grey’s Liquor Cabinet

The singer-song writer and Eminem protégé opens up about her love of red wine and why she no longer drinks bourbon before she performs.

Photos Courtesy Elliott Taylor

What do you like to drink? “Usually I’m a red wine drinker, but lately I’ve been really into a good pilsner.”

Are there certain types of red wine you like in particular? “I really enjoy Napa cabs. And I’m really into older wines. Wines that have age on them. I like a full-bodied red from anywhere. The oldest wine I’ve ever had is a 1919 Château Margaux.”

Wow! What was the occasion? “It was just a night out.”

Sounds like a pretty good night out. “I actually named one of my dogs after that bottle of wine. Her name is Margaux.”

How did it taste? “It was incredible. I like it when the tannins soften and the wines become earthier over time. The fruitiness kind of fades. Really easy to drink.”

Did you savor it all night? “It’s really hard for me to savor wine. It goes down pretty fast.”

Are you into visiting wineries? “I really love being in Napa. Obviously, it’s like the center of the wine universe. There’s so much to experience there. I get up there as much as I can.”

What kinds of beer do you like to drink? “I’ve been really into this new beer that’s actually coming out of Napa. It’s called Sons. My friends make it. It’s a pilsner. It’s very easy to drink. Very refreshing. I’m not a big fan of hoppy beers. I like somethings that’s just really easy to drink and really refreshing. And that’s exactly what this beer is. It’s creamy and delicious. Sons was recently created by three boys I’m friends with Carlo Mondavi, who is of the Mondavi wine family, Jacob Busch from the Anheuser-Busch family, and Elliott Taylor, whose dad is big in the building industry and they’ve made a bunch of breweries. It’s a really cool brand. I just love it.”

You’re originally from Wisconsin, right? “Yeah, so I know a lot about beer. I know a lot about pilsner. This is the best beer I’ve ever had.”

Before you perform, do you ever have a drink to loosen up? “Before I go on stage, I like to have one beer because it’s just enough alcohol to take the edge off but not get me drunk, so that I can’t perform.”

How about red wine? Is it not good before you preform? “It’s not good on my throat. It dries me out. It’s acidic.”

Do you ever drink hard alcohol? “I used to do a shot of bourbon before a show because it kind of opened me up, but I used to get too drunk. I remember there was one performance I did with Nicki Minaj on the American Music Awards, and I remember sitting down at the piano about to do the show, and I realized how drunk I was, and I started freaking out inside.”

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From what I remember it turned OK, right? “I crushed it. It was good.”

You’ve worked with such incredible musicians. Are any of them good drinking buddies? “Macklemore doesn’t drink. Marshall [Mathers, aka Eminem] doesn’t drink, either. I’m trying to think who I’ve had a beer with. I’ve had a drink with Nick Jonas in the studio. He likes red wine as well, so we bonded over that.”

Is there any musician dead or alive that you would like to share a bottle of wine with? “Thom Yorke just because I’m a huge fan and I’ve never met him, and it would be really fun to have a bottle of wine and pick his brain.”

Do you ever drink bourbon off stage? “I’ve actually been getting more into Scotch lately just because bourbon has been tasting quite sweet to me. Scotch is little less syrupy. Any of the Glens will do.”

What about smoky Scotch? “I like ’em a little bit smoky but not too smoky. I can’t drink Laphroaig. It’s like drinking ash.”

Are you into any other spirits? “I have a bar cart that’s full of different liquors. I love mezcal, too. That’s another thing I’m really into. I like the smokiness on a mezcal but not so much on a Scotch.”

How do you drink your mezcal? “Just with a splash of lemonade and a squeeze of fresh lemon. The smokiness makes it work year-round.”

It makes a great Margarita. “I prefer a mezcal Margarita to a regular one.”

Do you collect glassware as well? “The glass is super important with wine. Drinking wine out of a good wine glass makes the whole experience so much better.”

Interview has been condensed and edited.

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