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Bringing your own wine to Normandie

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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:

 

faq_answers_hdr.gif

spacer.gif

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 :confused: 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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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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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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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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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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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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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:

 

faq_answers_hdr.gif

spacer.gif

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 :confused: 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?

 

 

Thanks, I followed that link and found this FAQ:

 

What is Celebrity's liquor and alcohol policy?

Subject: Food and Beverage

"No alcoholic beverages may be purchased ashore for consumption onboard.

 

Onboard purchases from the gift shop of any bottle of liquor will be held until the last night of the cruise when it will be delivered to the stateroom.

 

Celebrity Cruises will not serve alcoholic beverages while a vessel is at sea to guests under 18 years of age.

 

In port, the minimum drinking age is 18 or 21, in accordance with local legal age limits."

 

 

I think it's safe to stick with the nice Reislings mentioned on the wine list.

It is my honeymoon and I think I should venture out a litttle too and try some new wines!

 

:p

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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

:(

 

Unless they have changed the policy in the past 48 hours or so this isn't th cqse. I don't know where the blame lies, but you certainly can bring any kind of wine on board you desire. The only thing that isn't allowed: wines that the ship sells. NMnita

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When we dined in the Olympia last year in the wine room, 4 of the people with us had just done the Tuscan wine country tour and had purchased wines for the table that night. There was no problem with bringing the wines to the rest. or onboard

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Thanks, I followed that link and found this FAQ:

 

What is Celebrity's liquor and alcohol policy?

Subject: Food and Beverage

"No alcoholic beverages may be purchased ashore for consumption onboard.

 

[snip]

 

I think it's safe to stick with the nice Reislings mentioned on the wine list.

It is my honeymoon and I think I should venture out a litttle too and try some new wines!

 

:p

A bit confusing, isn't it? They don't seem to put wine in the "alcoholic beverage" category for some reason. They've always been happy to open ours for us at dinner and take their $15. The head sommelier has even sometimes popped up to the main dining room to have a taste of something we've brought along. Evo on the Summit seems to pay attention to what the passengers are sending down to the main dining room! We had a good time trading ideas and tasting things one or the other of us had never tried before.

 

Since you noted that you prefer J.R.'s, I assume you may have a bit of a sweet tooth there. Most of these aren't really representative of Germany's best. Send an email to me (use the address below replacing the "dot" and "at" business as needed -- email links still don't work on this board) and I'll see if we can't figure out a way to send you something really nice for your honeymoon cruise; 1/12th of the grapes picked with my very own hands from the south facing hillsides of Trarbach, or maybe Traben, on the Mosel river.

 

earl"dot"anderson"at"comcast"dot"net

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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.
Ah, another one that plans to drink his grandchildren's inheritance! So much wine, so little time...

 

Do you already have an '85 in the cellar in waiting?

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It never ceases to amaze me how well informed and what a great resource people on here can be.

 

I had a question that someone here might be able to answer... Do you know if one can find a good Barolo on the X wine list (on the Conny). Otherwise we might bring some along and pay corkage... it'd be nice to be able to have a glass on the balcony too from time to time... ;)

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It never ceases to amaze me how well informed and what a great resource people on here can be.

 

I had a question that someone here might be able to answer... Do you know if one can find a good Barolo on the X wine list (on the Conny). Otherwise we might bring some along and pay corkage... it'd be nice to be able to have a glass on the balcony too from time to time... ;)

Yes, we had one in December '04 (Summit, but same list) that was quite nice. I can't recall specifically which one it was, and it may have come from the specialty restaurant list (you can order those for main dining, too, but let your sommelier know ahead that you'd like to have one of those wine lists brought up). One of the 2000 Scavino wines rings a bell, but that could have been subsequent to the trip.

 

I WILL grab a list on my next trip! Can't trust myself to remember lists anymore.

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Ah, another one that plans to drink his grandchildren's inheritance! So much wine, so little time...

 

Do you already have an '85 in the cellar in waiting?

 

Two, actually. I bought one in Rome for about $90 and another was a gift from an Italian vintner friend. I still have an '89 and two remaining '77s. No way could I afford now to buy a Sassicaia of any vintage. For Italian quality at a decent price, I am looking more and more to to Puglia, Calabria and Sicily. Some recent favorites: Librandi Gravello, a huge age-worthy red from Calabria and Patriglione, also age-worthy red and similar to a good amarone.

Both are under $40.

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Two, actually.
Good thing!
Some recent favorites: Librandi Gravello, a huge age-worthy red from Calabria and Patriglione, also age-worthy red and similar to a good amarone.

Both are under $40.

The '98 Gravello is definitely a keeper, but I haven't tried any of the more recent vintages. A friend of mine in the UK turned me on to that one, but I can't find any '98 here now.

 

I've just picked up a couple of bottles of '98 Boroli Barolo for $30. WS liked it, and WE Magazine gave it a 91 and an editor's pick for "value". Will be interesting to see how they turn out.

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