Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

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Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:33 pm

What do you do when you have invited fellow wine geeks (although I consider myself to be on the low end of geekdom) to dinner and they all want to bring multiple bottles to open?
When I plan a dinner, I also plan the wines to accompany the meal. I understand we like to bring wines along with us as that is the nature of the beast, and I am willing to open a few, but I don't want to open 2-3 bottles from each person. Part of the fun in planning a dinner is that I love to choose the wine. So, I am trying to be insistent that my guests only bring 1 bottle, but I am meeting a little resistance.
Should I open what is brought, including my own selections, or should I be strong, and limit it to one bottle per person, or my preference of 1 bottle per couple since that is what we are?
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby wnissen » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:46 pm

Dear Diane,

Your instincts are right on. You are the hosts, they are the guests, and if they are put out by your FREE WINE, carefully selected to match the food, then it's clear what kind of people they are. Jerks.

It's great that they want to share good wine with you, really it is. Surely you could parry their insistence into an invitation to their house to dine, right? :) "Oh, gosh, I already have wine picked out for dinner next week, but why don't you host the next one at your house?"

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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby wrcstl » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:53 pm

Diane (Long Island) wrote:What do you do when you have invited fellow wine geeks (although I consider myself to be on the low end of geekdom) to dinner and they all want to bring multiple bottles to open?
When I plan a dinner, I also plan the wines to accompany the meal. I understand we like to bring wines along with us as that is the nature of the beast, and I am willing to open a few, but I don't want to open 2-3 bottles from each person. Part of the fun in planning a dinner is that I love to choose the wine. So, I am trying to be insistent that my guests only bring 1 bottle, but I am meeting a little resistance.
Should I open what is brought, including my own selections, or should I be strong, and limit it to one bottle per person, or my preference of 1 bottle per couple since that is what we are?


This is common when wine geeks get together. If it were me I would plan the wine you selected for dinner and only pour that wine at dinner. Before dinner let people open what they want to, hopefully a few will be left unopened and probably left for the host. One comment, wine geeks drink more than 1/2 bottle per person, their system is conditioned for more :D
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:56 pm

Walt - thank you for your reply, and it made me smile. They really are not jerks, but one guy in particular wants to bring 4 bottles - 2 from him and 2 from his wife. I've met him and the others through this wonderful world of wine forums, and we have become friends. I've been to his home for dinner, where he requested that each one of us bring a bottle and he wants to at least reciprocate, but prefers to do it times 2. I don't think I need to encourage him to plan another dinner at his home. They are very generous people, but he wants more wine served than that which I am comfortable.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:58 pm

This is common when wine geeks get together. If it were me I would plan the wine you selected for dinner and only pour that wine at dinner. Before dinner let people open what they want to, hopefully a few will be left unopened and probably left for the host. One comment, wine geeks drink more than 1/2 bottle per person, their system is conditioned for more :D
Walt


Another Walt - that is exactly what I was planning to do - open my guests' bottles when they arrive and use my wine for dinner, and all remaining wine with cheese.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Ian Sutton » Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:58 pm

I'd be of a mindset to tell them what the meal is and ask the them if they'd like to bring along wine to match a particular course or courses (maybe an aperitif and/or a dessert wine, or simply something to match starter). That way they can indulge their passion as well as picking something nice for you.

It is often a more sensitive area than it should be and ego's have been blunted over such trivialities as wine for a meal. There's significant differences in perception of what's right, especially across different countries as well!

In all likelihood they're just trying to be good guests, so I'd allow them a little indulgence, but with sensible bounds that allow you the same indulgence.

Hope the meal goes well

regards

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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:03 pm

wrcstl wrote:
Diane (Long Island) wrote:What do you do when you have invited fellow wine geeks (although I consider myself to be on the low end of geekdom) to dinner and they all want to bring multiple bottles to open?
When I plan a dinner, I also plan the wines to accompany the meal. I understand we like to bring wines along with us as that is the nature of the beast, and I am willing to open a few, but I don't want to open 2-3 bottles from each person. Part of the fun in planning a dinner is that I love to choose the wine. So, I am trying to be insistent that my guests only bring 1 bottle, but I am meeting a little resistance.
Should I open what is brought, including my own selections, or should I be strong, and limit it to one bottle per person, or my preference of 1 bottle per couple since that is what we are?


This is common when wine geeks get together. If it were me I would plan the wine you selected for dinner and only pour that wine at dinner. Before dinner let people open what they want to, hopefully a few will be left unopened and probably left for the host. One comment, wine geeks drink more than 1/2 bottle per person, their system is conditioned for more :D
Walt


I was allowing for more than 1/2 bottle per person, as I was opening several of my own bottles. I generally figure on 1 bottle per person + an extra bottle.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby James Dietz » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:09 pm

hmmmm... you want to reject THEIR wine.. .. hmmmmm. There can be too much wine??

Well, when we do dinners, others do bring their own wines. I would never impose a style or varietal or anything, other than letting my guests know what is planned for dinner. Then, if they choose to bring a bottle (and all do), they can, or not, plan what they bring around the food.

I have had guests bring amazing bottles of wine to dinner, ones I don't have in my cellar and likely never will (these are usually high-end or older Bordeaux wines or some cult wine, like SQN). I might never have tasted these wines if they had not been brought because I insisted on my wines only.

So... I understand your viewpoint.. but.. hey.. we are wine geeks and the nature of the beast is to share and taste and enjoy.... that's what the get together is about, no?
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:22 pm

So... I understand your viewpoint.. but.. hey.. we are wine geeks and the nature of the beast is to share and taste and enjoy.... that's what the get together is about, no?

I guess for them it is, but for me, it's good food, good wine, and good company. I have to learn to be more tolerable, as I think I may have unintentionally insulted others in the past.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:07 pm

For the dinners I've been to or hosted, it's either been "tell me what wines you want to bring and we'll design the food specifically for them" or it's been "here is what I'm cooking and feel free to bring a wine that goes with something". Both seem to work remarkably well. It's fun to see what others will pair with certain dishes as I have my own prejudices but I love learning.

Regardless of what people bring, if they are friends AND they are wine geeks, you will have "good food, good wine, and good company".
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Lou Kessler » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:47 pm

We have been putting on dinners for wine geeks for many, many, years. I tell people that its really not necessary to bring wine but if they insist I tell them to bring something that will go with the various hors d'oeuvres because I have chosen the wine to accompany the food courses. The geeks may bring bottles that end up in my cellar. When you bring wine or anything as a host and hostess gift it's theirs to do with what they want.
If anybody has a problem with this, they don't have an understanding of simple basic manners. Hey, sometimes somebody may bring a bottle that gets served after the ones I'v chosen. Play it by ear but remember you are putting on the dinner.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:52 pm

Well done, Lou. That post is worth saving and playing back when this courtesy issue comes up -- as it does on WLDG every six months or so.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:26 pm

I tell folks not to bring wine. They bring wine anyway and we open it. Lots of fun. I try not to worry about it. If something goes with a course we save it for that course. If not then it's all bets off on aperitifs and dessert!

Stopping wine geeks from bringing bottles is like stopping politicians from talking. The only way to do it is to kill them. :wink:
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Redwinger » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:36 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Stopping wine geeks from bringing bottles is like stopping politicians from talking. The only way to do it is to kill them. :wink:

Yep. If it makes them happy, then let'em bring some wine. I prefer to think of it as an evening with friends rather than wine-pairing heaven...but that's just me!
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:46 pm

Bill, did you retaste the `05 Dr L?!!!!! I see the Del Monte tagon your postings. Right on!
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Redwinger » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:57 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Bill, did you retaste the `05 Dr L?!!!!! I see the Del Monte tagon your postings. Right on!

Bob,
Not yet. My first and only taste was a distributor sample and the shop chose not to purchase. I will keep an eye out for it in the local marketplace and will try to taste again...it won't be the first or last time I've mis-judgeed a wine.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Bob Ross » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:12 pm

David, on a totally different subject (although I guess they are considering a wine and food dinner), there's a request for food/Riesling matching at http://community.netscape.com/n/pfx/for ... winelovers

I've posted a cobbled up list of suggestions based on a CIA handout and a little bit of my own input. I'ld be very grateful if you would take a look and see how my summary could be improved -- ignoring the crummy English, that is. :-)

Many thanks. Bob
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:13 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:We have been putting on dinners for wine geeks for many, many, years. I tell people that its really not necessary to bring wine but if they insist I tell them to bring something that will go with the various hors d'oeuvres because I have chosen the wine to accompany the food courses. The geeks may bring bottles that end up in my cellar. When you bring wine or anything as a host and hostess gift it's theirs to do with what they want.
If anybody has a problem with this, they don't have an understanding of simple basic manners. Hey, sometimes somebody may bring a bottle that gets served after the ones I'v chosen. Play it by ear but remember you are putting on the dinner.


Did you ever have someone take home the bottle they brought, because it wasn't served? One of my guests did that.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Diane (Long Island) » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:34 pm

In all likelihood they're just trying to be good guests, so I'd allow them a little indulgence, but with sensible bounds that allow you the same indulgence.

My husband agrees with this, and I just contacted the one who wanted to bring extra wine, telling him that while it isn't necessary, I won't limit him.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Dale Williams » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:07 pm

Diane,
sounds like you already came up with a solution. But don't be afraid to just state rules. I had a winegeek dinner a couple of months ago, and just plainly said " 1 bottle per person or couple, I'll be serving courses to match with whites, Pinot Noir/Nebbiolo, & Bdx varietals, if you care." All the geeks had planned on more, but adjusted.

I'm a geek, but if someone says "don't bring any wine", I won't.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Bernard Roth » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:12 am

Here is what I do when I invite wine geeks to dinner:

First, I acknowledge that some people can bring wines that may be better than what I have. I prefer to drink better wine, even if it is not my own bottle!

Second, I allow guests to bring wine if they discuss it with me (so that the wine can fit into the meal). I do not want to open a young, highly rated wine just because a guest wants to try it. That is not for dinner - it is for a wine tasting. I want wines that are ready to drink.

Third, I exercise the right of refusal. I can turn down a wine that does not fit the meal.

Fourth, I have no more than 2 wines per course, and most often just one (that is assuming a group of not more than 10 people). More than 1-2 wines per course confuses the palate and can through off the flow of dinner, with too much attention focused of opening bottles, talking about them, dumping the excess, passing around bottles, etc.
Regards,
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Mike Conner » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:53 am

Diane,

You've received terrific input to this point, so I am not sure that I'll be adding much to the discussion. But, that rarely stops me from placing my 2 cents into the pot.

We've got a monthly dinner group that also focuses on wines (not to mention the camaraderie associated with these gatherings!). We've long since dispensed with the 'who will bring what amount' but we usually do try to bring wines that will fit into the evening's culinary offerings. The menu is always presented with the invitations (or, at least enough of it to start thinking about what to bring).

There are a few couples who are not into wine (meaning, they cellar little or no wine, but happily drink what is opened), so there are those of us who bring a little extra. And, it is understood that bottles can be gifted to the host, but those that are not gifted will to be taken home. (some of us often bring 4-6 bottles giving a few choices as the evening progresses)

Anyway, our evenings almost become a free-for-all, with the exception of when we actually sit down for the appetizers and entree. Then, if the host has something specific in mind, we have those selections. Otherwise, it can remain a free-for-all.

And, only on one or two occasions has the amount of alcohol gotten anyone in trouble, and in those circumstances there is a spouse who doesn't drink (or, just sorta lightly "tastes" through the evening) making things safe for the trip home. [or, in one other case, some of us got carried away, but there was plenty of couches and beds so we were good]

Anyway, I pretty much agree with four steps of Bernie's post... except maybe number four, although I do agree in theory with the limitation of wines per course with smallish gatherings (as he said, around 10 or fewer attendees). It just rarely happens at our gatherings because they often have a minimum of 20 people all the way up to 36 or 40. Hence there becomes almost the necessity of having more than 1-2 wines per course (usually 1-3 wines per table), as rarely do folks offer magnums or multiple bottles of the same wine.

One last comment. Do not worry about ever putting your foot down as you are the host. If you do not want certain wines opened, say so. If someone breaks this rule, just mention to the offender that you had done a lot of planning and work to select your menu and wines. Then hope the wine they opened doesn't suck!

Good Luck,

Mike


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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby David M. Bueker » Tue Aug 15, 2006 7:57 am

Bob Ross wrote:David, on a totally different subject (although I guess they are considering a wine and food dinner), there's a request for food/Riesling matching at http://community.netscape.com/n/pfx/for ... winelovers

I've posted a cobbled up list of suggestions based on a CIA handout and a little bit of my own input. I'ld be very grateful if you would take a look and see how my summary could be improved -- ignoring the crummy English, that is. :-)

Many thanks. Bob


I'll try to get to it tonight Bob. I cannot access the netnannyscape board from work.
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Re: Some wine geeks are coming to dinner

Postby Jenise » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:52 am

I guess for them it is, but for me, it's good food, good wine, and good company. I have to learn to be more tolerable, as I think I may have unintentionally insulted others in the past.


Yeah, it's kind of a two-way street thing. You need to accept that they'll bring wine, and they need to understand that your food/wine pairings are very important to you. And we all need to accept that when we're guests, our wines won't neccessarily get opened. Something I'll admit to having a hard time learning to handle (I once got my feelings terribly hurt over such an occasion, thinking my wine was deemed not good enough). And that probably wasn't the case, but that's how it felt to me at the time so when my guests bring wine? EVERYTHING gets opened, consequences be damned. But they're first or last, if I've got my heart set on serving certain wines--although I always reserve the right to put my own wine back in the cellar if a guest brings something equally suitable!
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