The month before my friend Melissa got married she said she was going to register for wine. What a brilliant idea, I thought.
She could have easilly put together one herself, but she asked me to take over (happily) and I set up a gorgeous little request list at Chambers Street Wines: 2005 Burgundies, Clape Cornas, some older magnums of Chateauneuf and new magnums of Desvignes Morgon, also come Cappelano, Mascarello Barolo, Savenierres and a bunch of Huet's VouvrayÖgeared to high-state drinking now as well as in five, ten and fifteen years. There were wines at every price point from $15 up. I sent around an email to her guests saying. Wine! She wants wine! Who needs two $80 chargers when you could get two Clapes? Get the idea?
They didnít get the idea.
I just did a lot of research on this for a long story for the Times, in the end they had to chop down to a very efficient 200 words. But in the course of talking to a wide variety of people, I realized there are plenty of wine clueless people who register for wine. I saw a couple register for Cavit Pinot Grigio for Peteís sake. I saw a couple register for that Clicquot demi-sec (even though they hated Clicquot as well as demi-sec. she took the Ďadviceí of the wine person at Bernís Steak House in Tampa). That woman had people sign their bottles, which actually was a great idea. What wasnít a great idea was that Clicquot and even though she said she hated California cabernet, she registered for it. Her friends bought those hated bottles for her, and the Bordeaux she had requested languished. Why do people take bad advice? Wine insecurity? Maybe.
Back to Melissa. Her guests seemed to think she too just wanted a bunch of bottles. What they didnít know is that she wanted help building a serious cellar so she and Daniel (and friends) get to enjoy them years down the pike.
So, if you want wine, most likely youíll run into the same situation. My advice is to launch a heavy wine lobby.
State clearly why a cellar is more important to you as flatware. Talk about how this is an optimistic gift, because it insures--or at least anticipates-- a longevity of marriage. I think I would also flag each bottle and the reason: drink on 1st anniversary, 5th anniversary, 20th anniversary. Lie, make it up. It really doesnít matter. As long as you get those bottles. Good luck.