Wine Dinners – who’s kidding who?
I have received a plethora of invitations to wine dinners in my inbox recently (not as a freebie – I hasten to add!) – Ch. Angelus and Ch. Palmer at the Connaught at £390 and £480 a head (plus a “discretionary” service charge of 12.5%) – Thomas Keller’s pop up restaurasnt at Harrods is around £250 without wine and service (but don’t expect to drink Blossom Hill with this 9 course dinner). Are they worth the money?
On the face of it – not. The inbox has also produced a deal from lastminute.com where you can eat at Marco’s – the Marco Pierre White inspired restaurant within the Chelsea Football Club complex at Stamford Bridge for £18.50 for two courses and £22.50 for three, which looks remarkably cheap. But when you consider that you will be given 6 glasses of wine at the Angelus dinner and 7 glasses at the Palmer dinner of varying vintages, you are going to be drinking more than a bottle of wine a head (unless they are incredibly mean) – perhaps even a bottle and a half. Ch. Palmer 2001 on Marco’s list is £210 (plus service – of course) and if you double the food costs to compare with the number of courses at the dinners at The Connaught – there is not a lot of difference.
So what should one do? Go for the experience of drinking a number of different vintages of top Claret at an extended meal – or pay little for quality food and indulge on several good bottles from various producers for a lot less money?
Let me know what you think. I am offering as a prize the chance to share with me one bottle of Ch. Branon 2000 (Parker 97 and about £400-£500 in a good restaurant) from my personal cellar for the most interesting and succinct reply.
Looking forward to hearing from you.