Can You Enjoy "Fine" Wine At A Social Event?

Serious question…

Is it possible to enjoy a really nice (expensive, older, etc) bottle in a social setting vs. a formal tasting event? What I mean is, during a Saturday afternoon while watching college football, can you crack a Pavie, Lafite, Maybach and be happy with it in a group dynamic?

I absolutely prefer to enjoy great bottles while socializing as opposed to wine tastings.

Absolutely some of my best wine / food / music trifectas (trifecti?) have been at the Hollywood Bowl with friends and even GoVino plastic stemware. A few years back, I brought an '82 Monfortino and the box next to us had some de Grazia Gang stuff and we were trading tastes and my friends wife says (comparing the Conterno to some modernist De Grazia stuff), “If you COULD make something like THIS, why would you ever make something like THAT?”!!! From the mouths of babes (she is cute!), priceless!

You betcha.

Rarely go to wine tastings.

Much prefer a social setting to enjoy wine.

I can certainly be happy with it. As for analyzing it? Not really.

As long as the others are wino’s as well, I enjoy it more during a social event. But if I’m the only wino around…not so much.

If your purpose is to analyze the crap outta what you are drinking, then perhaps the formal tasting would be better. However, my friends and I have done a formal tasting in a social setting, which was the best of both worlds. Quite fun.

I’ve enjoyed some incredible wines over the years while watching the Buckeyes destroy that team from up North. [drinkers.gif]

had a 05 Impulsivo and 86 Rieussec Sunday in a divey Portland oyster bar while watching game 2 of the NBA finals with friends. thought i was able to appreciate both wines readily and it was even pretty cold in the joint.

As I was learning about wine, I found formal tastings interesting. While there is always more to learn about wine, as far as I am concerned, I have my associates degree (maybe bachelor’s) in wine…and I don’t need to study it, I need to experience it. Drinking wine is inherently social and that is my preferred venue. I am bored by formal tastings and rarely go to them or participate in them any longer… but that is me… but all of the great wines that I remember (and I have had a lot in formal settings) come from experiences that were inherently social as opposed to formal

Absolutely. My favorite way to enjoy wine…

aren’t offlines social events? I don’t remember going to too many with strict tasting guidelines. Just dinner and wine with friends with a side of wine conversation if necessary.

No questoin.

I really don’t feel like I’ve ‘analyzed’ a wine unless I’ve experienced the whole bottle over 3/4/5 hours and watched it evolve. Two ounce pours at an organized tasting gives a sense of the wine, but I never feel like I ‘know’ the wine unless I spend some time watching it evolve.

That said, I’ll always take the social event over the organized tasting - and I do enjoy the wine, especially considering the generosity that is usually bestowed between winos.

I have enjoyed wonderful Oregon Pinot Noir’s in the Autzen parking lot in Eugene. Normally will bring 4-5 different wines, food to match and a good time is had by all (especially when we beat the Huskies). I enjoy wine much more surrounded by good friends and fellow wino’s.

Can enjoy fine wine anywhere, but when it comes to preference, like when watching football yelling at the screen with friends, would prefer a fine California wine or something really big, like a SQN!! Would prefer a more elegant older wine at a dinner, offline or formal tasting.


Sometimes at organized tastings you can bring extra stems and save a couple wines on the side, but they’re still all about the breadth of coverage, not depth.

Of course, IMO consuming wine is meant to be a social event.
Some of my best experiences have been when I have shared bottle with others.

A social event like a sit-down dinner… Yes. Otherwise, the wine is more or less wasted.