Calling all Reno area foodies and Wine lovers! If you are interested in gourmet home cooked food and great wines paired with the meal, then this is the group for you.
If you know that fresh white truffles are only available two months out of the year, or that Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a wine from Rhone, then we are looking for you!
If you don't know, but if you want to make new friends, are adventurous and want to learn about the wonderful sensory explosion that gourmet food and wine can bring, then we are also looking for you.
This group will be centered around good food, good wine and good friends. These dinners will be homemade and hosted by existing group members.
The basic premise of this group is that a member volunteers to host a dinner party (event). The Host creates the meal and provides the wines. We will need these volunteers or the group will not have many events!
Group members sign up for a spot in the dinner and pay their share of the costs of the meal and wine.
We hope to be able to have 6 - 12 dinner events per year.
A cost for participating in a dinner event will typically be in the $35 - $70 range (includes food, wines and "tip" to host). Most of the money will typically be paying for the wines as this includes fine wine, not cheap wine. We are looking for wines to be served that are appropriate for a fine dining experience. We are not expecting Screaming Eagle to be served.
A member interested in hosting an event will determine the events date/time, the number of participants allowed, the courses for the night, the wines being served, the dress code and the cost per participant.
The host of an event will not be responsible for making menu adjustments for individuals. So, if you do not wish to have gluten in your meal, or if you are a vegetarian, then the host does not have to accommodate you. You are free to skip the portion of the meal that does not meet your culinary requirements, but you will still pay the full price of the event. If your diet is restrictive, you may want to consider a different group.
These will be non-smoking events!
A typical event will have a total of 6 - 12 participants. The maximum number of participants is determined by the host for a given event.
Generally, hosts should aim for around 1/2 bottle of wine per participant. Therefore, an event with 8 participants would serve 3 or 4 different wines.
All participant are expected to arrive at the time designated by the host.
Guests will only be allowed with permission of the host.
The host is responsible for coming up with a reasonable cost estimate for the food and wine. This cost is divided among the participants. Therefore, if the total food bill is $95 and the total wine bill is $200 and there are 8 participants (which included the host), then the cost per person is $295/8 = $36.88. However, the host has done all of the work for the event, so a mandatory "tip" of 20% is added to each participants total. Therefore, $36.88 + 20% = $44.26. This is close enough to $45 that the host could put the cost per participant as $45.
Date: Saturday xx/xx/xx
Start Time: xx:xx
Host Name: xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx
Host City: xxxx
Host Contact Number: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Cost to Participants: $40
Maximum Participants: 8
Dress Code: Cocktail Attire
Antipasto - Assorted artisan cheeses - served with 2006 Iron Horse Brute "X" (sparkling wine)
Primo - Fresh handmade pasta with seafood - served with 2007 Oak Ridge Winery Silk Oak (Viognier)
Secondo - Italian Sausages with Peppers and Onions - served with 2003 Francesci Il Pagione (Sangiovese)
Contorno - Grilled Eggplant - served with 2007 Patrick Lesec Les Galets Blondes (Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
Dolce - Cannoli topped with chocolate - served with 2007 Hunt Country Ice Wine (Vidal)
Questions and Answers
Q: Do I need to host events or can I just be a participant?
A: No, you do not need to host dinners. However, we encourage people to become a host at some point as it is the Hosts that will keep this group going. If there are no Hosts, there are no events to that we will be able to participate.
Q: Why do the typical dinners cost so much?
A: This group is intended to serve gourmet meals and fine wines. A 2004 Mitolo GAM Shiraz cost me $90 to purchase, but it is rated 97 points from Wine Advocate, making it a wonderful wine to be serving. This may be one of 3 or 4 wines poured in an evening. Thus, the wines for a dinner may cost several hundred dollars which are spread across all of the participants. This is a real bargain though as a restaurant might charge $250+ for the same bottle of Shiraz. We understand that this price will not be affordable to everyone who finds this group, but for those who enjoy really fine dining, this is really affordable.
Q: Why doesn't the host accommodate my dietary restrictions?
A: Hosting an event is a time consuming task. We can't expect the hosts to take additional time to make a special meal for a given participant. This is not a restaurant. If you see that a portion of the meal contains something that you do not wish to consume but you still want to attend, just don't eat that particular portion. It would be polite to let the host know ahead of time.
Q: Why are the events non-smoking?
A: There are multiple reasons for this policy, but suffice it to say that my wife has asthma and smoke can be life threatening to her. Even when she will not be attending a given event, it is important to have a consistent policy in place for all members. In addition, smoke affects the smell and taste of the food and wines being served. This policy will be enforced for all events.
Q: How many participants will be allowed for each event?
A: We are anticipating that a typical event will have 6 - 12 participants. This range allows everyone to enjoy multiple wines with their meal. In addition, each host will have a maximum capacity available for serving dinner. Each host will determine what size group will be allowed at the event.
Q: How many wines will be served during the evening?
A: This is entirely up to the host, but as a general guideline, +-half a bottle per participant would be expected. So an event with 8 participants may be serving 3 or 4 different wines. An event with 12 participants may elect to double up on each bottle (getting two of the same Rioja as one bottle split between 12 is too little wine). In this case, there may be a total of 8 bottles, but only 4 different wines.
Q: What if I am a great cook, but I need to know where to buy appropriate wines?
A: There are several options available to purchase fine wines. Probably the best selection in Reno for wines is Total Wine (www.totalwine.com), but there are many smaller shops. In addition, you can purchase wines online (e.g. www.winehouse.com, www.winebankwine.com, winelibrary.com, wineontheway.com, www.accidentalwine.com and www.winechateau.com to name a few that we have personally used over the years). Then there are places that have specific wines available for short periods of time (hours to days), such as wtso.com, wine.woot.com and cinderellawine.com.
Q: What if I want to become a Host, but I am not familiar with food and wine pairing?
A: Generally, pairing is fairly straight forward. If you have a special food item that you want to serve at an event, then you will want to find a wine that pairs well with the dish. However, if you have a special wine that you want to serve at an event, then it also works in the opposite way by finding a dish that pairs well with the wine. To find appropriate pairings in both of the above cases, just Google it. For example, if you are serving foie gras then Google "foie gras wine pairing" and you will see several suggestions including Sauternes, vintage Champagne and Chardonnay. Another example would be if you wanted to serve a special Châteauneuf-du-Pape, then Google "Chateauneuf-du-Pape food pairing" and you will find many suggestions including beef estouffade, roast duck and grilled venison.
Q: Why do the hosts get a 20% "tip" from each participant?
A: The host will be doing a tremendous amount of work for an event. This is our way thanking the host for putting the event together. If you were going to a restaurant you would be tipping that amount anyway. If you think that the "tip" is a great deal for the host, we encourage you to put together an event yourself.
Q: How do I pay for an event that I am interested in attending?
A: Basically, the event host will arrange for payment. Some hosts may want a check sent to them, others may have a PayPal account, and others may allow you to pay at the door. This is up to the individual hosts.
Q: What if I change my mind about an event after I paid?
A: The hosts can decide on an appropriate action. If the host has a waiting list, then you should get you money back. However, if the supplies have been purchased and there is no replacement participant, the host will most likely not allow a refund.
Q: How does the host come up with the participant cost?
A: The host will put together the special menu for the evening. The host will need to estimate the cost of food ingredients as closely as possible. We know that it will not be exact, but it will be close enough. For a typical event, the wine will cost the host much more than the food ingredients. Some hosts will already have the wines, so the exact cost will be known. Other wines on the menu may have to be purchased after the event is posted. In this case, the host could get an estimate of the wine cost by contacting Total Wine or other wine establishment. The bottom line is that the host is to make a reasonable effort to come up with the approximate out of pocket expenses for the meal.
Q: Why is there a Dress Code?
A: The Dress Code is established by the Host for each event. We envision that most events will be casual, business casual or cocktail attire. These categories allow all participants to have the same expectations for the appropriate evening clothing.
Q: What if an item on the menu changes after I pay to participate in the event?
A: The hosts will need to make a reasonable attempt to keep the menu the same as posted. However, a key ingredient may be unavailable the week of the dinner, or a specific wine may be lost in the cellar. In these cases, the host should make appropriate menu changes and notify the participants of the changes. These changes will not constitute a reason to get a refund from the host.
Still have questions? Just click on the "contact the Organizer(s)" link at the top of this page and we will be able to get back to you.
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