One question that continually comes up around supper clubs is how much should be spent on wine? There is no correct answer. It is one of those topics around the club’s guidelines that needs to be discussed.
The cost of wine/alcohol is usually the driver around a dinner party’s cost. I believe that it is true that most of read wine lists right to left. That is, the more expensive a wine is, the better it is. Of course this isn’t true, but is a good indicator.
In my mind wine falls into five categories
- Jug/Box wine. My daughter’s friend swears by her box wine. She claims that after aeration it isn’t bad
- $10 Bottles. You can get some pretty good white wines and an occasional decent red wine especially a blend
- $20 Bottles. There are some really good white wines and better red wines.
- $50 Bottles. Here is where you get outstanding whites and really good red wines
- Over $50 Bottles. We are talking special occasion wines. Just make sure you keep them away from family members that like to put ice in their wine.
My price categories are based on competitive retail prices. When looking at restaurants you can mark wine up 2 to 4 times in the categories above.
A good price target for supper clubs is $20 a bottle. You can get a decent bottle of wine and not break the bank. The funny thing is that it isn’t the price of a bottle but rather the number of bottles that drive cost. We have had a few memorable evenings where consumption overtook discretion. One time there so many bottles in our recycling bin after a supper club party that our 12 years old daughter and her friends made comments.
Our neighborhood supper club uses the price limit of $20 a bottle. Hosts have been known to serve a more expensive wine and charge $20 when allocating costs. Some hosts are simply more popular than others.
As we get older and more affluent, we have enjoyed better wines. We had some really good times when we were younger and couldn’t afford a decent wine. The reality is that the quality and cost of wine is not that important. Making friends and socializing over a meal is what supper clubs is all about.
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