Question about excessibe balla nights

Well played, sir.

Kevin,You don’t need to apologize for…anything,nothing,and D,it’s none of your f*cking business what Kevin or anybody else does with their wine…none of your business…take your concern elsewhere and spread it around for the mishpocha in Paris

Six or eight different wines over an evening is just about the right number to enjoy a nice variety while spending plenty of time with each wine and doing them all justice. I see nothing excessive there unless four people finished all the bottles. That would be a lot of alcohol.

Now if it were 20 bottles, as in a tasting with only a few minutes per wine, I would personally find that much less enjoyable. But there’s a place for that too.

As to the value of the wines served, I’m certainly not going to get judge-y. Sounds to me like they provided a good deal of pleasure. What’s wrong with that?

ikr?! What a bunch of lightweights. Needs at least some bottle of pre-Jeremy Dujac CdlR/CSD, a 75 or 67 Yquem, followed by some DRC Marc/Fine. hashtag baller

One question about this “BYO bottle” nights … (to everybody) … since I have to do with similar events both as organizer and guest.

How do you calculate the financial matters in such an event?

To elaborate clearly what I mean:

If (let´s say) 8 people bring a bottle each of app. the same value with them (+ a backup) it´s no issue at all - nobody pays anything (except dinner, corkage etc.)

But if
version A:
one brings a bottle with a current market value of 2000.00 - all others (7) bottles with a market value of 500.00 -
what´s then?

version B:
one brings a bottle with a current market value of 2000.00 - but purchased decades ago for 50.00 -
all others bottles with a value of 500.00 purchased recently ?
version C:
7 people bring bottles with a value spread from 100.00 to 2000.00, another guest nothing at all (maybe as a substitute due to sickness), but he would like to buy in … ?

I´ll tell you how I would make it:
Each participant estimates the value of his own bottle, either at purchasing price, or in
case of an older bottle at a fair value somewhere between purchase and current retail - all 8 values are summed up - and the total will be divided equally among the tasters (deducing the own bottle of course).

So for example c if the total of values is 4800.00 … each one has to take 600.00.
The guest without a bottle will pay 600.00, the owner of the 2000-bottle will receive 1400.00 and so on …

SURE if it is solely a meeting of long time friends tasting regularily together - or a privat invitation at home with no guests - there might be a natural equalization over the time … and one might skip all this maths at all …

Gerhard, at least for me (& I believe the group I regularly taste/dine with). We set a theme and each person suggests their own contribution. Rarely does finance come into play. If you freely offer to bring your expensive bottle to share among friends, then we all are appreciative and generally try to make up for it at some point in the future.

Not consciously, but we do our best to share our best, unless being saved for special reasons (anniversary, b-days, etc). Occasionally a trade is involved, to try & bring the share up to being somewhat more equitable. Some of us host at our homes and spend good $ on food/ingredients, so now, if someone decides to host at a resto where we all share the bill, the host will provide all or more of the bottles to even out costs/ effort.

I guess that’s the advantage of having a tasting group that is made up of friends. The people that take advantage of others generosity without reciprocating in some way are weeded out.

You are flat out wrong Bill. I would humbly request that Mr. Zylberberg (who was recently nominated as co-chair of the Committee United for National Temperance & Sophistication), not to mention self-appointed arbiter of good taste, provide us all with a set of guidelines. The guidelines will hopefully include bottle/person ratio, order of progression, and, most importantly, maximum total value of wines that can be served in a single setting. This will allow for complete standardization & put a stop to these unpleasant disagreements about how we should all behave. Who else is with me?

Not sure how you warped what Kevin posted into “La Tache is being washed down with Coche.” Besides, I cannot think of two wines more appropriate to have in the same setting.

You have attributed three behaviors to Kevin and to those who participated in the dinner:

  1. Conspicuous Consumption - by definition this is spending to impress other people. Having known Kevin for a long time I can assure you he has absolutely no need to impress anyone but his lovely wife and children. You also have no clue how much was spent on these wines.
  2. Waste - This implies that the wines they drank could not have been properly appreciated. I was not in attendance but have had the luck to have shared bottles with Kevin’s local wine circle on a number of occasions. The wines have always been taken seriously (in the context of convivial sharing) with each wine given its due consideration. And while Kevin certainly has capacity, he is also the first to spit so as not to exceed that capacity and that is also not waste.
  3. Bragging - Invidious Consumption or intentionally invoking envy. While I know I was envious of this event it is certainly not in the deadly sin sense. And I would not believe for a minute that is what Kevin intends when he posts about these dinners.

My wife and I have hosted a CellarTracker offline in Charleston for the last three years. We had to set a minumum “buy in” price per bottle. Some people chose to exceed the price but all participants had to meet the minimum.
We also encouraged people to do some homework and provide special wines rather than just doing a search using the minimum price as their parameter.Since the weekend event attracts 20+ people, we insisted on 2 identical bottles of each wine. The rules kept some people away but the participants providing expensive wines wanted some attempt at parity.
It has been a fun event with some great wines but not what I would call, J Favre-worthy.
Like Kevin S I have to choose expensive bottles carefully (teacher salary).
And Kevin, I’m with you. My ride is a 1996 Dodge Ram pickup.

I’m with you on the acronym,Todd!

There were many more of these events back in the pre-financial crisis days. Personally, I miss the over the top, excessive antics reported on by the Rosania contingent. Those wines were purchased at current market value. Related, I recall in the original infamous ‘The Todd’ thread, a single candid comment Mr. Anderson made regarding his own over the top venture - to paraphrase, he said you would be surprised at the number of people out there with great wealth and an interest in wine. Anecdotally, I can see that. Every month, for years now, the WS has featured incredible cellars, all owned by people I’ve never heard of, let alone seen on a wine board / off line.

I know these events and lifestyle are still being played out as I’ve seen it in other social circles, but in the wine world, it seems as these events now come together as described up thread, with individuals bringing a bottle to share as the price of admission.

I once thought putting these caliber of wine into a single night of excessive debauchery was a waste. After my first WS Grand Tour though, I’ve changed my opinion completly. When drinking legendary bottles by themselves and only during special occasions, I think the occasion creates a bias. Whereas these mega tastings, you get an objective look across a qualitative peer group. The results can be quite interesting.

Seconded. I move to begin consideration on a resolution to ban the wines of Eric Texier.

I wore shorts and flip flops to an offline last week while drinking SQN, L’Evangile and 13 other bottles with only 9 people in the same tasting. Damn, there was even $35 Sonoma Syrah and Cali Chardonnay in there. Oh the horror. How many etiquette rules did I break?
Glad to know I can be set straight by the wine police.

Whoa! “Mishpocha”! This is getting serious. I have known the word almost all of my life, but only now realize that I have never written it, and thus, clearly did not know how to spell it! I am mortified…

Save some of your wrath for me, Bill. (Would that be “wrath of (Boy)khan?”) I find this topic interesting, completely divorced from individuals and personalities, and mean to post later.

In the meantime, Kevin, Bill is right that you owe no apologies, and I have given you mine in your thread (if you can find it). However, be advised that I drive a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe that came with no radio/CD/MP3 player and requires manual locking and unlocking. Moreover, I have gone through three divorces and paid not a cent in alimony. I have no children from any of the three marriages, and thus, I have not had to pay for expensive schools or expensive sneakers. And having given up golf, skiing and scuba diving, I am your match in having only one expensive hobby! :slight_smile:

I go to maybe one or two wine dinners a year, and then only to be with people I otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to meet or be with. And when I do, I tend to focus on a few wines that are of particular interest to me rather than drinking from every bottle on the table. I just don’t get anything out of drinking wine that way.

But the idea that anyone should be discouraged from sharing their wine this way, or even worse, that they should be castigated for doing so is, to me, not only wrong but thoroughly offensive.

We can obviously scratch your name off the committee list Neal.

. . . And exactly what is wrong with that?

When drinking legendary bottles by themselves and only during special occasions, I think the occasion creates a bias. Whereas these mega tastings, you get an objective look across a qualitative peer group. The results can be quite interesting.

That’s an interesting point. I like it.

For years I participated in several blind tasting groups and learned that relying on everyone to bring a bottle is a bad way to do structured tastings. Those groups served their purpose, which was to learn and compare and we almost always mixed prices. It’s where I learned that price and quality, or at least price and what I like, are not tightly correlated.

The tastings described on these posts, where everyone brings something, are quite different. If I’m going out to dinner with people, it is just not going to be some kind of structured, pedagogical, or whatever kind of tasting. It’s dinner and wine.

It is true that more than eight people can turn into separate events for the groups at opposite ends of the table. At the end everyone just gets up and acknowledges that they were at the same event. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but if you go in thinking you’re going to have an evening with a bottle, you are in for disappointment.

To Gerhard’s question - I don’t particularly care if everyone brings something of equal cost. People have different resources and if they’re friends, they’re friends. Last couple of events I’ve attended, I brought two wines and we ended up drinking only the cheaper one. People said their palates were shot, etc., and didn’t want to open both. Another way is to specify a price floor and people can either pay or contribute wine, paying the difference if the wine is under the floor. I dislike that and would only do it if it were specifically to obtain a group of hard-to-get wines that everyone was interested in trying.

As far as not remembering what you drank - isn’t that why people write long passages about white flowers and violets and such - so that they can remember? If not, exactly what purpose do those notes serve other than providing something to post on a wine forum?

You should have stuffed an ascot tie under your collar & fashioned a monocle out of something. I think I’d drop dead if I had to dress up for one of these things.