Saturday, April 28, 2012


I turned down a black tie event opportunity recently.
I have the black tie outfit, in fact I have two of them  and can still fit in them although I have to admit that when they were new the trousers were decidedly roomy. To be honest though nowadays I like to dress comfortably and wear my raggedy old T-shirts and shorts and to stay at home.
I have been to lots of fancy dos in the past. Some more fancy than others but the common thing between all is that after a few hours people get pissed and some behave disgracefully.

This can vary from the dapper gent at the urinal who lets off an almighty fart to the  prim and proper society lady who exposes a bit too much breast and makes suggestive conversation.

The problem with all of these dos is that wine generally flows freely with arrival Champagne and other wine followed by bottles on the table with endless replacement. If it is a large do, with the best will in the world there will be delays in the evening schedule and with food taking a while to arrive. If it is not a continuous buffet then guests have to wait until plates of food are brought to the table. There will be some small bread rolls available but these are not enough to sop up the alcohol. Often I have found that it is too easy to quaff a bit too much whether it is good wine or ordinary wine due to:

  • Music and or noise too high making conversation with a neighbour difficult
  • The neighbour is boring or difficult making one wish the music and or noise was louder
  • You are at the event under sufferance
  • You are enjoying yourself and talking too much
I've enjoyed the Annual wine awards dinners because I know a lot of people so that I don't feel like a spare prick at a wedding and also because the wine is always excellent. Some of the posher dos I 've been to though are a washout because of not knowing many people and the wines are crap. With fancy dos in big hotels and convention centres the organisers go to great lengths to get the best guest speakers, the most elaborate decorations and the best possible menu but opt for the budget or medium level wine on offer. This is because the hotel or convention centre will be still charging the normal 300% or more mark-up on the wine as they do in their restaurants and bars. This means that the $10 bottle of wine costs about $40 a bottle for the customer. Often, the venue has a special function brand on offer (read cheap plonk from a major wine company that has a different, unique label on it) that is described in glowing terms and a poorly informed event organiser will often opt for this.

The outcome is the same though with too much wine consumed too quickly without being drunk with food.

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