Monday, January 31, 2011

Rant: Drunk Before Dinner

During the past couple weeks, I have been to two very large wine events, where over 1000 wines were available for tasting.  These events are not cheap, often costing $50-$100, for a ticket and generally occur on weekend afternoons, before dinner time.  They offer an excellent opportunity to experience a diverse selection of wines but not everyone sees it as such.

To some, it is merely a chance to get drunk before dinner.  They come with empty glass, seeking only to have it filled with whatever is being poured. They tune out anything said about the wine, caring not for its production methods nor the story behind the wine.  You see them thrust their empty glass toward the pourer and then you can watch them knock back the wine.  They do not spit, rather it becomes a marathon event, to see how much wine they can consume in a few hours. 

Inevitably, such people get drunk.  Funny how that works.  So, you then see women in designer dresses stumbling around, sometimes falling to the floor.  Or you might see well-dressed men vomiting on the floor. They become a public spectacle, and you can hear people laughing as they pass these unfortunate souls.  They will become fodder for later stories by the other attendees, a topic for amusement as well as a cautionary tale.       

Why do they do it?  Why do they feel the need to pay so much to get drunk in public before dinner?  They could stay home and do that, for much cheaper and with less embarassment.  It is supposed to be an enjoyable social occasion, and no one wants to be accosted by some slurring drunk.  Vomit does not come out of a designer dress too easily. 

Would be drunks, stay home!  For the price of your ticket, you could buy a case of cheap wine and guzzle it to your heart's content in the privacy of your own home.  The event does not need you or want you there.  The other attendees do not need or want you there either. 

Please, just stay home.   


Ian Bennet - Isaaks of Salem said...

Hopefully this was not found in the Grand Cru lounge portion of the boston wine expo??

Brian said...

Rich, I 100% agree. Preach on!

I'd love to catch up one of these days. Are you free for a call later in the week?

Brian Freedman

Richard Auffrey said...

No Ian, I was not even at the Grand Cru this year.

Hi Brian, thanks and I should be around later this week to chat.

Jason Phelps said...

I spit most of the 55 wines I tasted at the Winter Wine Spectacular in Manchester, NH last week. I did that so I could experience many flavors and textures to broaden my knowledge. So many others were not. I agree that you aren't really getting value for your $$ by getting drunk and with so little appreciation for the wine you aren't even in the audience for the event. Stay home!