Archive for January, 2017

What Wine Club?

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

A few years ago, my wife and I became founder members of a local wine club which we helped to establish in our neighborhood. Initially there were five of us with the admirable intention of preparing dishes that we didn’t eat on a regular basis and pairing them with a selection of wines using the expertise of Elizabeth at our local wine store.


The wine club gradually grew in numbers to eleven, and it was agreed that one of the four couples would host the dinner on a rotational basis approximately once a month give or take holidays and Christmas. The hosts provided the entrée, while another couple compiled a starter and someone else made a dessert. The last couple to join were ironically the first to bow out. The lady had readily admitted she didn’t like cooking, and had joined the club in the hope of stimulating some culinary interest. She appeared to be adjusting to a semblance of cooking sanity until she hosted a dinner comprising “spam casserole.” Naturally, the prime ingredient was spam but the overriding flavor was ketchup!! It was disgusting.

Some of the lady members voiced their contempt via e-mail, and the lady did the decent thing and fell on her sword, and quietly withdrew from the wine club. Now I’m not sure whether it was this incident that set off a chain of events, but the wine club and its original concept went rapidly downhill.

Four, possibly five of the members, gave up drinking wine for no apparent reason, or were reluctant to share with the group their reasons for sudden abstinence. Explanations and discussion on the choice of wines paired with the meals frittered away. One of the members casually announced that she could only eat items that were gluten free; quickly followed by her partner who  claimed she was lactose intolerant.

I believe the final straw for me arrived last week. It is our turn to host the dinner, and I have chosen to prepare Hungarian goulash with dumplings. Two reasons spring to mind:

  1. It is simple to prepare for a group, but also delicious.
  2. It is good winter fayre.

What could possibly go wrong? It wasn’t long before an email  arrived from one of the lady members, enquiring whether goulash contained red meat. Is there a goulash which doesn’t use red meat? The lady was quickly informed and she claimed that she hadn’t eaten red meat in over  a year. She was magnanimous in insisting we do not change the menu which I have no intention of doing anyway.


Some things in life run their course: TV series, relationships, hobbies and even wine club dinners. So, as far as I’m concerned this could be my swan song. Bon appetite and yachi da.