I have never seen a wine dinner menu and pairings like this. Almost too much

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No, actually too much. I have to say I’m curious about the price tag.

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I’m concerned about the courses. That’s like 4 super heavy courses. You’re gonna need a second stomach

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Wow. $5,000 pp? More?

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I concur, and also the wine. If the wine servings are 2.5 oz. pours (which is really at the small end of things), that’s 32.5 oz or 1.5 bottles of wine. Add that to the food and you will have one serious case of indigestion.

3.5 oz or 100ml is the usual serving size for wine pairings (I think), if that is the case, that’s 45.5 oz of wine!

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Just looked it up. All from magnum. $4,150 plus tax and gratuity.

Jonathan

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Way too much. I can honestly say that even if I were invited to attend an event like this as a guest without charge, I would probably not attend.

Tasting many of those wines not only too young- but when they are likely to be hibernating- would be discouraging. And then to end it all with 4 legends side by side- each of which deserves significant individual attention- would feel very wasteful indeed.

Agree with comment above on the courses as well- this is a ridiculously heavy meal assuming the portions are adequate to properly accompany 2-4 wines per course.

Sadly, this is not an uncommon type of event these days. It is one more reason I am finding myself less and less interested in major wine events. This screams of conspicuous consumption and shows little true respect for the wines themselves. It is very possible to do a proper dinner with up to 30 or so wines and do it well- but this is the completely wrong approach.

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At least 3x too much. It disrespects the wine, the food, and the attendees.

If money is of no concern, pick two great bottles in their prime and simple well-prepared food. Repeat at reasonable intervals with different wine and food.

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But it’s fine when people do more extravagant meals with more bottles of wine so long as each bottle is less than $100?

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Sounds like a decent event. '14 DRC is going to be shutdown hard unfortunately.

Price tag is too high for what you get, but they are turning a profit. That’s why all my events are BYO and for the enjoyment of the group only.

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What a monumental waste of wine, food and animal lives

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It’s a good thought provoker isn’t it!

We’re wine geeks, obsessing about our hobby, and on one hand this looks like an ultimate homage to some of the most prestigious wines, with an attempt to match food to the grandeur of the wines. On the other it’s the most pretentious gathering possible, and with little thought to the reality of the overall experience.

On a smaller scale, I suspect it’s something many of us have done, perhaps most likely in an offline at a restaurant, with attendees bringing along a bottle or two, and (as is natural) no-one wants to let the group down / be a cheapskate, so the bottles brought quickly gravitate to being the most prestigious bottles everyone has on that theme. The restaurant likewise don’t want to be the weak link, so provide food to match, but matching in this way course after course becomes too much of a good thing. For me, those events were hitting similar concerns that have been expressed here, that we risk drowning out the charms of the wines, by setting such a high bar, that it all becomes an exercise in excess, and we start to become a parody of our hobby.

When this becomes a problem will vary between people, with the attendees of this event presumably seeing no problem, or perhaps seeing it a super opportunity to tick off a number of prestigious labels to have had that experience, which trumps any concerns that it all becomes a blur.

For myself there are some antidotes, for when it all starts to get out of hand:

  • Rather than a tight theme on a prestigious region, broader themes (or no theme) can help spread the styles.
  • A more direct approach to the issue, is to seek out the less prestigious regions as the theme, and encourage it to be an exploration of the styles of that region.
  • Often people want not just a single bottle, but two. In these instances, encourage people to do this only if they choose some cheaper bottles for those two, giving a broader spread than the natural ‘race to the top’
  • Pool the costs amongst the attendees. So if (in simplistic terms) someone brings a $100 bottle and someone else brings a $40 bottle, the person bringing the $40 bottle gives the other person $30
  • An extension of the above… don’t get hung up on costs, and encourage people to flex up and down the scale over time. Bring a cheaper wine one time, and a fancier bottle the next time.
  • Put the focus on ‘interesting’ rather than prestigious. I rather like the UK based ‘oddities’ offlines for this. It was very much an exploration of the fringes of the wine scene, avoiding not just prestigious wines, but also prestigious / well-known wine regions or grapes. The aim was to bring something that was thought provoking and/or that would provide a new experience for those at the table.

I do get the criticisms of this event, and for myself it takes those concerns I had about attending offlines to a whole new level. There is however a little self-reflection, that we can also be guilty (to a lesser degree) of what we’re calling this event out for.

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A few thoughts.

  1. Doing some quick arithmetic, the wine adds up to around $25,000. Private rooms here in NY start at $500 pp. so the dinner is definitely expensive, but I have seen a lot worse.

  2. There are two great sins here; the worst is having the two DRC wines served way too young to be enjoyable, and also taking up the bulk of the wine budget. The other is the food; too rich and too much of it.

  3. This is a bucket list tasting; you want to try DRC? Well here’s your chance. The mishmash of quality and vintages is a big problem. The Bordeaux are brilliant; arguably the best wines from two great vintages. Unfortunately the rest of the wines seem less carefully chosen, more a case of what can we get away with from bottles already in the cellar.

Salon is way too young. The Champagne should give pleasure; while this is potentially a great Salon, it is incredibly tight. I would probably have gone for a vintage Krug and a Taittinger to show the contrasting style.

Leflaive flight seems awkward with both wines too young. It works but there are reasons why one cellars wine. .

Burgundy: the real problem flight. Instead one DRC and one Dujac from the same vintage, preferably with some age such as 2002.

The Bordeaux are wonderful and should not have been lumped into a single flight. Go with two flights and lose the Massetto, they add nothing apart from dollars.

The Piedmont flight is solid; I might have taken out one of the the Monfortnos and substituted a Giacosa riserva. 1996s are finally coming round, and this pairing should be better than the two Monfortinos and about the same price.

All this being said, with a little tweaking this could be a great dinner if the wines had some bottle age, and the food is pared down. But putting together tastings is not a question of getting high scoring wines irrespective of vintage and readiness.

I don’t mind over the top dinners, and have done a fair number myself, almost all BYO. Occasionally, a wine will get lost, but if you are dealing with people who know what they are doing, it happens rarely. I hope this all works out, and while I would not pay for this, I think most people will have a very good time here.

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I see nothing wrong with this dinner; I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay 4150 for it, but I bet the people attending it would be very happy.

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This is pretty much the majority of “wine meetups” I see on Instagram. Too many painfully young expensive grand crus and champagnes not even near their prime slaughtered over equally extravagant meals leaving not much more than “I was too drunk to remember anything.”

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I’ve seen tasting notes here with as many courses and wines. I’ve been to events with just as many.

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How do you know if a wine is near its prime if you don’t drink it?

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We literally did a dinner last night with more courses and wines (but didn’t pay $4150pp) you can quibble with the actual wines but I see nothing wrong with this.

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By drinking them in their suggested, general conception of prime?

Prime for one is too old or too young for others. There is a lot of holier than thou on this thread

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