The comparison of steak to hamburgers is a bit excessive; this would be more like serving a conventional USDA choice sirloin to the guests and serving Prime, Dry-Aged or Kobe beef to the bride and groom. Few would be able to tell the difference. But the ones who might know, will certainly know that they aren't getting the same thing that the wedding party is being served.

If I was at a wedding, drinking Roederer Estate champagne and I saw bottles of Dom at the wedding table, part of me (the irrational part) would feel insulted.

Still, who is ever going to be checking on the various wines at the tables? Probably the same people who will count the number of flowers in the centerpiece to see if they have 12 roses like the other tables (there are people who do that!).

I vote for drinking what everyone else drinks, and saving the good stuff for the next night.

PS: I loved Zintastic's idea of a wine-themed dinner with different varietals on each table. Of course, if I got stuck at the White Zinfandel table, I might be upset... Or I might be happy because of my chances of meeting all the cheap, boozey women who will be stopping by my table!
Originally posted by Rothko:
If I was at a wedding, drinking Roederer Estate champagne and I saw bottles of Dom at the wedding table, part of me (the irrational part) would feel insulted.

At a wedding last year, the bride and groom drank Dom while the guests drank, well, not Dom. It wasn't a secret that the couple was drinking something different. We knew that this bottle of Dom was their only one but stored in the poorest of conditions for a number of years so we weren't as impressed as the rest of the guests. Wink

It never really crossed my mind that the bride and groom drinking something different would be inappropriate. It's your what you like. I wouldn't point out to your guests that you're drinking the good stuff though. Wink
I do NOT think it would be appropriate for you to serve a presumably better wine to your whole table, as I understood
from your original post, while the rest drink the "cheap" stuff.
In such a case, you are selecting some guests above others, in a sense.

That said, it would not necessarily be inappropriate for JUST you and the bride to share a special half-bottle (or whole bottle). You could do this openly: "we are going to toast with this special bottle of XXX given by uncle Milt!"
I think you should have a mag of Petrus for you and your lovely wife, and Yellowtail for the rest. Screw 'em.

My wife and I drank Dominus while everyone else had what the hotel provided for wine, Beringer, I believe...

Atta boy, %#&* all of the guests right?

Did you also serve them cheeseburgers while you cut into a filet mignon?
It's interesting how split the forum is on this question.

The debate reveals some real differences in people's philosophy on what a wedding is all about, who it's for, and what the guests' roles are.

One view, which seems quite prevalent today, is that a wedding is all about the couple, and everyone else is there to make the occasion special for the bride and groom. (A variation of this view is the one where it's all about the bride.) A few of the guests may be actual close friends of the couple, but may others are invited only out of a sense of obligation. With luck, it might be the last such obligatory gesture the couple has to make to some of these yutzes before they then spirit themselves away to happy, cocooned coupledom.

Another view (and one which I prefer) is that the wedding celebrates not just the couple but the community of family and friends that makes the marriage possible. The only point in inviting guests is to show them gratitude for the roles they've played in bride & groom's lives leading up to their union. True, the couple gets gifts, but the giving goes both ways. With this view, I'm inclined to come down on the side of saving the special/unique bottle of wine for the honeymoon.
Intersting responses that seem to underscore what I thought.

Personally, I wouldn't be offended, but enough people would that it doesn't seem worth it.

For what its worth, however, the allusions to Yellow Tail are a bit inaccurate. Our assumption is that we'd be serving a JJ Christoffel Spatlese (or similar) and Rosenblum Rockpile Zin (or similar) and Nicolas Fuillate or Pommery Brut Royal.

Saving the good stuff for yourselves at your wedding,what would Dr. evil do? I'm afraid this would not be much of a moral dilema for me,i know that it's a cruel world and life isn't alway fair but at a wedding it's all about the bride and groom's special day, and if they don't drink the good stuff at their own wedding they have nobody to blame but themselves.
Originally posted by Rothko:
PS: I loved Zintastic's idea of a wine-themed dinner with different varietals on each table. Of course, if I got stuck at the White Zinfandel table, I might be upset... Or I might be happy because of my chances of meeting all the cheap, boozey women who will be stopping by my table!

Thanks for the props. Makes my wedding all the more meaningful. Despite my screen name, there was only a Zinfandel table, no White Zin. Although the benefits you mentioned make me wonder if there should have been... Wink
Originally posted by The Artist Formerly known as DJ Hombre:
why a spatlese? cheaper to go w/ a kabinett... and it'd probably just be declassified spatlese anyways.

Perhaps, DJ. Honestly, I posted this because the idea had never occured to me and I was curious if it was commonly done. It isn't like I'm actually picking out the wines yet, so who knows what it will actually be (and frankly, while I have a very rough idea of a budget, we deffinitely don't know what that will be either). Whatever it is, the wine will be tasty. She put her foot down about the city the wedding takes place in, the religious level of the ceremony, and about keeping all dairy out of the party / dinner / reception (strict kosher). I told her fine but I refused to drink mediocre wine on my wedding (and she agreed the wine woudn't be kosher).

Anyway, I imagine there will be a bunch of winos at the wedding and I don't know how I would feel drinking Quintarelli and not offering them any.

My two cents: we thought of our wedding as the best party we would ever be able to host. We switched out beers from the 'standard' list to make sure friends had something they liked and kept the "crap" beer for those guests who actually like it too. That went for some other things too, like having bottles of water as you left because lord knows I always am thirsty after drinking.... That said, we did have a nicer bottle of scotch available at one of the bars and let those of our guests who enjoy good scotch know it was there and that they should request it specifically. Sneaky i guess by some accounts here, but it made a group of guests happy. If you are worried about the winos in the group, see if you can arrange something like that for you and them.

Your specific point though mentioned by others: we paid so little attention to what we were drinking (and where we left the glasses!) that two very nice bottles would have been a waste, even though we appreciated them. This, despite making every effort to slow down and relax. There's such so much going on, it might be better saved for the honeymoon.

It IS done. I have been an attendee at a few weddings like this.

At the first wedding of this type I attended, the groom let the winos know that they should ask for the "good wine" that was held beneath the counter. Only those he told even knew of the existence of the special bottles (unless they told others). This was a nice way of making the winos feel special, and you control who has access to the good stuff. Most of the other attendees would not even know the difference between the good and regular stuff anyway.

That groom also had a special bottle for just he and the bride. Nobody I overheard commented on it, and most did not even know about it. Unfortunately, he did not share that bottle.

This happens more than you would think. As a guest, I have learned to ask for the special bottle of wine at all weddings. You would be surpirsed how often I have received good wine that way, even without being told by the bride or groom!

So let me see if I have this straight: Mike, you go to weddings where you are considered a B list guest, and then you steal wine from the hosts... Stealing being defined in this case as taking something to which you are not entitled.


I am being a bit facetious, of course, but my point is: 1) as a guest you shouldn't have to wonder whether you are on the A list or B list; and 2) if you are not told about the special wine, then you aren't really entitled to drink it.

You may say "Who cares?" But if you were at a wedding reception where the staff was instructed to pour only beer and wine, and you conned the waiter into opening a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue for you (which would be paid for by the hosts), I think that the wedding hosts might be a bit peeved when they got the bill.
Gastro -

"Would it be appropriate for guests to drink better wines than those at the bridal table?"

We actually did this a few years ago. We were at the reception at a country club that has reciprocal privledges with my club. I don't remember what they were serving, but I asked for, and received, a bottle of '96 Cinq Cepages they had on their list... No one really knew about the wine, other than a couple friends with whom I enjoyed sharing the bottle....
Well Andrew since I can't bait you, I guess I'll be serious.

There is no right or wrong answer to your question. The thing to keep in mind is that .... it is yours and the future Mrs. Whiner's day. Your friends and guests are there to share in your joy, not to share your bottle of wine.

It would be very shallow of a guest at your wedding to ever feel insulted if you were drinking something different. Of course, we both know the stuff that occurs at Jewish weddings.

As such I think I have arrived at a reasonable solution to your situation. I am shocked no one has suggested it.

Why not just have the wine that you will share with the Mrs. put into a decanter. You get to enjoy your special wine, your guests will enjoy whatever you decide to serve and no one is the wiser for it. it gives no one anything to be jealous over.
Go right ahead. Speaking from experience:
1) No one will notice that your Champagne is different.

2) Most people at weddings take a sip of Champagne at the toast, and ignore the rest of the glass. Most wedding Champagne gets dumped. So serving great stuff to the masses is a waste, and at the same time, there is no reason for you to drink anything but the best at your wedding.

3) To those that are suggesting that you share a better bottle "after the reception", well, by the time our reception was over, I couldn't stand the thought of more alcohol. A nice bottle of wine at 1:00 a.m. would have been a waste. I'm glad we had our better bottle(s) at 7:00 with dinner.

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