Another take on the trade dinner. Winebuyer turns party-crasher? So not cool, man.
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There’s an old Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks’ tune called “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”
That was running through my head at one of those Wine Tasting Dinner events at a restaurant not long ago. You know: the Meet the Geek type of event at a restaurant.
Restaurateurs are dying to be able to charge customers for someone else’s wine and this time it was mine. I don’t mind too much…it was a restaurant that has a bunch of my wines on its list and I don’t mind donating to their charity in some small measure. I was going to, at least, get a free meal out of it in exchange for coming one night, providing a bunch of wines from one of my portfolios and regaling those diners who’d signed up for this culinary delight with stories of visits and such to the various wineries whose wines were being featured.
The restaurant posted notice of this event on its web site and had a little flyer on the hostess podium advertising this “special wine & food pairing” night. They may have even advertised it in the local paper.
I bring plenty of bottles…you never know if something’s corked or quite how many people are going to show up. And then there’s those last minute walk-ins.
Much to my surprise was the arrival of a prominent retailer in the neighborhood. He was not on the guest list and I certainly didn’t invite him. Nor had I invited his girl friend.
Neither had the restaurant.
But there they were during the “passed appetizers” and aperitif wine tasting.
They even graced me with their presence at my table, which was so considerate of these interlopers.
The evening went along nicely, though and the group of patrons actually seemed to listen when I spoke about the wines, where they came from, stories of the hard-working souls who make the wines, etc.
I had a nice, strong espresso and soon needed to run to the rest room. While I was in there, the owner of the restaurant presented our dear retailer friend with “the check” for “dinner and wine for two.”
And the sweet fellow that he is, knowing I sell him some wine from time to time, he shuffled it along to the place setting where I had been seated. So much for my “free meal in exchange for my wine.”
Now I had to pony up a couple of Benjamins.
Why is it always me?
And how can I miss you when you won’t go away? Same goes for your girlfriend.