Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dinner with friends who don't like wine

To me, one of the more stressful decisions regarding wine and entertaining is what to serve when your guests aren’t that into wine.

Do you drink wine and serve them something else? Sure, this might be feasible at a dinner party atmosphere, but what if you’re only having one couple over? Doesn’t that seem rude to serve up a bottle of wine and say “hey, wanna Bud Light?”.

Do you care about pairing? I mean, will they even appreciate it? For example, if all you like is sweet wines, you won’t like a cabernet if I served it with a beautifully aged and perfectly prepared prime steak-its just not your thing. Sure, if they happen to like red and you’re serving red, it might all work out, but then what about the price?

Do you serve a cheap crap wine? Sure, that’s probably all that they’ve had, but they probably don’t like it and you certainly don’t, so why ruin your meal?

Do you serve a nice bottle and try to convert them? I mean, its unfair to give someone a glass of bad wine and expect them to understand why you like it so much. But, what if they hate the nice stuff and just slug it down to not hurt your feelings? Is that how you want your wine wasted? Do you just suck it up and say well, at least I got to have a nice wine with dinner?

I don’t recall who, but someone told me they go into the kitchen to pour and pour themselves a nice glass and their guests a crap glass. I don’t know what I think about that-that seems so dishonest and cheap. Somehow cheaper and more dishonest than serving them beer while you drink wine.

I think the best option is find a solid value wine, maybe in the $12-$15 range that you like enough to buy for $20 and serve that. Then, if they don’t like it, that’s fine- only $7.50 was wasted. It might mean some research on your part. Luckily Mr. Lush and I have done extensive research on value wines with our wedding wine tastings, so feel free to look those over for ideas. Or of course, have a fairly full bar and be able to offer them cocktails or beer or wine, so they have a choice. Probably an even better option-then if they opt for a gin & tonic, you can break out whatever you want.

6 comments:

LucyinStLou said...

I agree. Wines in the $15-25 range are probably MUCH nicer than non-wine drinkers are used to and if it's a good bottle, it might be enough to convert them. If not, que sera sera, at least you have something nice to drink and you tried.

WineLush said...

We ended up serving a bottle of $15 Zin (with brisket) that was from a case re-order from the Gold Medal Wine Club. Its the kind of wine that compares toa $25 bottle, but since its only available at the winery, its a good value wine.

Essentially, it was a good choice-they liked it and were "excited to have good wine".

However, I will also make sure in the future to continue to have some mixed drink and beer options, just in case.

Mo said...

Hi-
I just found your blog through lucyinstlou's. I love it!

Liked this entry and personally, think I have done all of the above. Now, usually I will do the medium level wine, and always have beer and mixed drinks available.

Mo said...

Hi-
I just found your blog through lucyinstlou's. I love it!

Liked this entry and personally, think I have done all of the above. Now, usually I will do the medium level wine, and always have beer and mixed drinks available.

WineLush said...

Mo-

Thanks for stopping by!
I went to college at ASU-miss it in the winter, not so much right now. :)

Randolph said...

Well, if it makes you feel better I would not be insulted if my hosts drank wine while offering me a beer :). I'm more of a beer connoisseur and never cared for wine that much. My wife moans when we go out to an expensive restaurant for our anniversary and I skip the wine menu and ask for the beer list, but I'm kind of set in my ways ;).