Sometimes its good to treat yourself (or a date) to a night of fine wine and good food. Even though it’s not cheap (usually around $60 or more per person) it’s a great experience to have at least once in your life. Let’s face it, average Joe may not have the funds to frequent the wine dinners on a regular basis, or even think of it as something that may turn out great. Average Jane may want to go, but “has no one to go with” (you know women tend to like to travel in packs). Since the experience may be new to you, it is important to know what to expect so you don’t find yourself embarrassed or feeling like you don’t belong.
Dress like a champion
This is definitely a casual event, but leave your sneakers and frayed cuff jeans (you know, the ones that have been scooted across the concrete so much you’ve bore holes at the heels) at home. Ladies you may wear jeans and heels if you wish, but a casual dress would work just as well. The fru fru types that are often there have designer everything (even their T-shirts are $40 Calvin Klein), so you need to bring your A game. Dress to impress, but not like you are going to a business meeting.
Be aware that you may “accidentally” get drunk. Wine dinners are usually three courses or more, which means at the very least you will have three full glasses of wine and sometimes they top you off throughout the meal. Because the food is decadent and gourmet, the portions are actually correct, so you will not be packing in the food to soak up the alcohol. While this usually allows for great open conversation, you will want to be able to drive home at the end of the evening without your date worried about her safety.
Check the menu
Many restaurants will post the menu on their websites ahead of time so you are aware of what they will be serving and what wine will be paired with it. This is the time to find out about any potential food allergies you or your date may have that make the date null and void. Because the menu is prepared special for the night, they require credit card reservations, so you want to be sure you can attend before making the reservation.
Know your wines
The wine dinners are always sponsored by a vineyard so there will be a Sommelier on hand who will be anxious to get your opinion on the wines you are served. Check out the Hall’s beginner’s guide so you know enough to get started if you don’t already. They will expect you to taste it prior to the course and provide feedback for them to take back to the owners (if you aren’t speaking to the owner already).
Wine dinners are perfect if not for anything else than the experience of great food and wine pairings. I know my fellow Dragons and Lady Dragons do not like to waste money, so be sure to choose your company wisely as you want it to be worth the amount you spend. It’s not a meal for people who have food hang ups and don’t want to eat something they have never heard of. Keep these points in mind and you are guaranteed a night you will never forget.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.