Friday, September 25, 2009


Last night, I was invited to one of the Captain's work dinners. The host had picked a nice restaurant on the water that had sweeping views of the bay, the skyline, and (due to a clear night in Seattle) a gorgeous view of Mt. Ranier. The place was Anthony's Pier 66 (for those familiar with Seattle). They specialize in fresh seafood and locally farmed produce.

So, after we are seated, everyone starts looking at their menus. I, of course, grab the wine list. Now, the wine list wasn't a list, per se, it was a book. Several pages of wines, some beers, and specialty cocktails. I am trying to find a "by the glass" Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris, when another guest places two bottles of wine, that he had brought from home, on the table. The restaurant is kind of fancy, well, fancy enough that they already have red and white wine glasses on the table, and they remove glasses according to what you order.

Those of you who know me, know that I am a wine drinker. But not an educated or snobbish one. I rarely spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine and, honestly, I usually buy my Pinot Grigio (the Bud Light of wines) in a box. But I do know some rules regarding dining. So, I make a few assumptions based on the fact that this man has brought in a couple of bottles of wine to a nicer restaurant.

  1. I assume there will be a corkage fee. (I was correct, there is a $25 corkage fee per bottle at Anthony's Pier 66.)
  2. I assume that there is something special about the wine. Its either rare, or unusual, or the restaurant carries nothing like it.
  3. I assume its expensive.

So, the waiter decants the first bottle of wine and offers some to everyone at the table. Now, I'm not normally a red wine drinker, but I am also not one to pass up a special, rare, unusual, or expensive glass of wine either. I accept a glass. I swirl it around the glass a little bit in an effort to make it look like I know what I doing. I stick my nose in the glass and breathe in as I take a sip. And...

It was okay I guess. But, like I said, I'm not an educated wine drinker. I chalk my indifference up to my lack of knowledge.

Around this time, someone passes the bottle to me, so that I might admire it. It was a bottle of 2005 Chateau Ste Michelle Orphelin Red. I like Chateau Ste Michelle, but I wasn't aware that Chateau Ste Michelle made wines so fine that anyone would decant it, or pay a $25 corkage fee per bottle (actually have your host pay a corkage fee) for the privilege of bringing it in and drinking it at a restaurant.

I'll save you the trouble of googling it, cause I already did. The Orphelin Red is a $15 bottle of wine.

I wonder what the waiters thought of us.


  1. That's a new level of awesomeness. It's like almost rednecky.. hahahaha!

    The PNW is an interesting place. It's all snobbish/granola/hippie/redneck rolled into one.

    (btw - this is Bink from CoG)

  2. Hi Binks!

    It was interesting. You are right about the mix. Bizarre to say the least. I didn't realize so many angsty teenagers still existed!