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  #1  
Old February 27th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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AUNTDEBBA AUNTDEBBA is offline
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Question Bringing your own wine to Normandie

Going on the Summit with a group of around 10. We will eat one meal in the Speciality restaurant. I know that we can bring our own wine to the regular dining room but is it consider gauche to bring your own to the Speciality restaurant?
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  #2  
Old February 27th, 2005, 07:13 PM
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No, just pay the corkage fee.
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  #3  
Old February 27th, 2005, 07:15 PM
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What is the corkage fee?
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  #4  
Old February 27th, 2005, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sueleekey
What is the corkage fee?
A fee of $15 charged when you bring your own bottle of wine into the restuaruants. This is only charged in the restuarants, not for wine served in your room. If you only want a glass then open it in your room and carry the glass in - no one will mind at all.

I've heard the waiter/wine steward doesn't always charge the corkage fee - but I was always charged on our Summit cruise last year.
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  #5  
Old February 27th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUNTDEBBA
Going on the Summit with a group of around 10. We will eat one meal in the Speciality restaurant. I know that we can bring our own wine to the regular dining room but is it consider gauche to bring your own to the Speciality restaurant?
Gauche? I suppose that would depend upon what you brought -- Boone's Farm (do they still sell that?) might not go over too well .

Apart from that, the same rules apply as in the main dining room. The regular $15 corkage charge is assessed. If you have something you really favor, by all means, bring it along. If it's something particularly interesting, you'll always have the interest of the chief sommelier (Evo? I keep forgetting the spelling) as well -- he operated out of the Normandie most evenings. We had a pretty good time treating each other to some new wine experiences. He even popped up to the main dining room one night to taste something we'd brought along. I think he must eyeball everything that is sent down with the cabin stewards to see what everyone is bringing along with them.

Bringing the bottle with you to either dining room is considered poor form, and the "correct" approach to this is to give the bottle(s) to your cabin steward (earlier in the day is better for them, if possible -- it's a long run down there from many cabins) with your cabin number and your main dining room table number, or your last name (or cabin number) and the word "Normandie" on the bottle. They'll see to it that it's properly stored and ready for you when you arrive.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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Smile Your Own Wine

We were in a CC on the Summit. One afternoon I brought the Champagne that was in the room when we boarded to the dining room so it could be served that evening. We shared with our tablemates and it made for a much nicer evening rather than drinking it in our cabin. It was properly chilled and served with no corkage fee. In light of that, I tipped that evening in cash.

Have a great cruise.
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  #7  
Old February 28th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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Well the real question is WHY you want to bring your own wine. Is it a special wine that you are afraid will not be on the wine list? Does the bottle hold some significance to you? The wine list in the specialty restaurants is pretty good and you should be able to find a bottle that meets your desires. But if the only wine that will please you is the one that you bring then by all means do so. I would let the sommelier know of the significance of the bottle so he will understand
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  #8  
Old February 28th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Thanks for all the information.

I have purchased the wines in the Normandie but since I live in Northern Calif I have access to excellent wines that you will not find on the wine lists. I have some reserve wines that I have been holding onto and figured that the Normandie would be the best place to share these with my family.
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  #9  
Old February 28th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABSCruiseLuvers
Well the real question is WHY you want to bring your own wine. Is it a special wine that you are afraid will not be on the wine list?
In our case, that is always the case.

In the first instance, the issue is a very common one -- The standard wine list in the Celebrity dining room, while certainly better than those in many restaurants, falls prey to the same problem as most others -- they're not in a position to buy and hold wines that require cellaring to full maturity. There are, for example, a great many cabernets that have not been blended with merlot so as to smooth out the rough edges, and instead, are designed to be laid down for some considerable period of time before drinking. We happen to like many of those, and the cruise line is typical in that they're not prepared to hold inventory of that type long enough before serving it... it costs them money. As an example, we have some 1990's that are just now "coming of age". I also brought a 1976 riesling on the last trip. Someone has to tie up money in the interim (19 years, in this case), and so these wines are deemed prohibitively expensive in all but the finest venues, and won't be seen on a Celebrity wine list.

The second reason is more akin to the previous poster's -- simple availability of a particular item. We're a bit more flexible in this regard, but on our last trip, even the head sommelier had never heard of a Scheurebe grape, nor any wine that was made from them, so he was treated to a new experience.

Our cruises tend to be about 50/50 buy/bring.

I think part of the "controversy" about this topic comes from people's own experience on a state-to-state basis. There are a few states (our own not presently included) where this practice is legal in a restaurant, and where a person wouldn't think twice about bringing something special along. In most states, this practice is verboten, and the idea is entirely foreign. For some of the people who have never experienced the former, I can understand why this seems such an odd practice to begin with.
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  #10  
Old February 28th, 2005, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABSCruiseLuvers
Well the real question is WHY you want to bring your own wine. Is it a special wine that you are afraid will not be on the wine list? Does the bottle hold some significance to you? The wine list in the specialty restaurants is pretty good and you should be able to find a bottle that meets your desires. But if the only wine that will please you is the one that you bring then by all means do so. I would let the sommelier know of the significance of the bottle so he will understand
If you have a special wine and a special occasion to drink it, by all means do so. Two years ago, to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we brought an '89 Sassicaia and an '83 Hermitage for the two nights we dined at the Millennium's specialty restaurant, the Olympic. Both wines were near their peak in age and paired perfectly with what we ordered.
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  #11  
Old February 28th, 2005, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cirpi
If you have a special wine and a special occasion to drink it, by all means do so. Two years ago, to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we brought an '89 Sassicaia and an '83 Hermitage for the two nights we dined at the Millennium's specialty restaurant, the Olympic. Both wines were near their peak in age and paired perfectly with what we ordered.
WHAT? Tenuto San Guido, and no invitation? We're crushed...

The Sassicaia is a fantastic Tuscan. You'd never find that one on the X wine list for any of several reasons. You can't touch an '89 now for less than $200 a bottle.
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  #12  
Old February 28th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Default Wine on board Celebrity (Mercury)

Quote:
Originally Posted by canderson
WHAT? Tenuto San Guido, and no invitation? We're crushed...

The Sassicaia is a fantastic Tuscan. You'd never find that one on the X wine list for any of several reasons. You can't touch an '89 now for less than $200 a bottle.
Let me know how this all works out because my TA called Celebrity and they told her absolutely no bringing my wine onboard the Mercury at San Francisco.

I am getting married aboard and it's a 11 day cruise and I only drink Johannisberg Reisling which I don't even think they have??

Chris & Liz
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  #13  
Old February 28th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cirpi
If you have a special wine and a special occasion to drink it, by all means do so. Two years ago, to celebrate our 50th anniversary, we brought an '89 Sassicaia and an '83 Hermitage for the two nights we dined at the Millennium's specialty restaurant, the Olympic. Both wines were near their peak in age and paired perfectly with what we ordered.
Did you let the "wine steward" decant these for you? Was decanting sufficient, or did you need to filter?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandee
Let me know how this all works out because my TA called Celebrity and they told her absolutely no bringing my wine onboard the Mercury at San Francisco.

I am getting married aboard and it's a 11 day cruise and I only drink Johannisberg Reisling which I don't even think they have??

Chris & Liz
Either your TA didn't really make the call, or was badly misinformed by someone at Celebrity. There's even a standard corkage charge of $15 in the dining room for the ones you do bring with you. I've seen both lazy TAs and badly informed people at Celebrity, so it's hard to say which was the problem. Lest there be any doubt -- this is directly from Celebrity's own FAQ from their web site:



Is there a corkage fee in the main restaurant?
Subject:
Food and Beverage

Wines not bought from the onboard wine list will constitute a corkage fee. The corkage fee for the main and casual dining, as well as the specialty restaurant is $15 per bottle.


I do not recall which German wines they had on our recent trip and that's something I'd normally be sure to do. I do know we didn't order one there, although I seem to recall ordering a spatlese on a prior cruise... or I could be imagining that, too. On this next trip, I WILL find a way to snag a copy of the wine list and post it.

How is it that you haven't expanded your German wine horizons past the one?
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Last edited by canderson; February 28th, 2005 at 10:18 PM.
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  #15  
Old February 28th, 2005, 10:34 PM
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Now that a lot of wines are going screw top, is there still a corkage fee?
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  #16  
Old March 1st, 2005, 12:19 AM
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Love the screw top analogy. Right along with the synthetic corks!

As for the question as to Rieslings.
They do serve a very nice Riesling on board as my friends had some last April. Unless it is something really special I would just purchase the wine from Celebrity by the time you buy the wine and pay the corkage you have probably spent more than the wine is priced on the wine list.
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  #17  
Old March 1st, 2005, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandee
Let me know how this all works out because my TA called Celebrity and they told her absolutely no bringing my wine onboard the Mercury at San Francisco.

I am getting married aboard and it's a 11 day cruise and I only drink Johannisberg Reisling which I don't even think they have??

Chris & Liz
There are 4 Rieslings listed on the wine menu that I brought home.

Johannisberg Riesling, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Valley, Washington State, 2001 $24
Bernkastel Riesling, Green Label, Qualitatswein, Deinhard, 2000 $22
Piesporter Riesling, Qualitatswein, Deinhard, 2000 $24
Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling, Spatlese, Leonard Kreusch, 1999 $32

They may be different when you sail, but this gives you an idea of what Celebrity offers.
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  #18  
Old March 1st, 2005, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nparmelee
Now that a lot of wines are going screw top, is there still a corkage fee?
I'm having a REAL problem getting my mind wrapped around a "screwage fee"...
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  #19  
Old March 1st, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canderson
WHAT? Tenuto San Guido, and no invitation? We're crushed...

The Sassicaia is a fantastic Tuscan. You'd never find that one on the X wine list for any of several reasons. You can't touch an '89 now for less than $200 a bottle.
If you think the '89 Sassicaia is expensive, the '85s go for a grand or more. Eons ago, I bought a case of 1977 Sassicaia for $17 a bottle at the University Village Safeway in Seattle. The '77s now fetch at least two hundred bucks a 750ml bottle, according to Wine Searcher. We popped a '77 last year. It was amazingly good and just beginning to slip s-l-o-w-l-y off plateau. A '77 will accompany us on our Millie transatlantic in November and if we live long enough to celebrate our 60th anniversary in 2013, we'll splurge with an '85, kids, grandkids and greatgrankids be damned.
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  #20  
Old March 1st, 2005, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakrewser
Did you let the "wine steward" decant these for you? Was decanting sufficient, or did you need to filter?
Decanted, yes, but both were free of sediment, so no filter was necessary.
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