It's fine for all of you out there who have 2,000 + bottles to choose from. But try surveying a line up of mostly Loire reds and low rent Burgundies and try to choose something to bring to the pricey La Paulee BYOB dinner being held tonight, which I am lucky enough to attend as a guest. This ain't easy. Choosing a bottle is as anxiety provoking as waiting for someone to ask you to waltz. Actually, it's not the same. I know I can waltz, quite well, and I have no idea if the bottle of wine I bring will be any good at all. Yet, I so want it to be. There is a certain pride to showing up with a wine that will amaze and delight others, the pressure is on. Earlier this week in the snow, seeing that Park Avenue Liquors had some older vintages at reasonable prices I ventured above 14th Street to shop. I had my eye on the 1999 Heresztyn Gevrey Chambertin Les Champonnets, 1er Cru for $56. PA is presently having a sale, second bottle 50% off. So I thought, go for it, even though I might never get another assignment or book contract again in this economy, go for it, spring for the bottles. There was one remaining bottle of the Heresztyn. I was pressed into buying the Jean Tardy 2002 Chambolle-Musigny Les Athets, same price, I get it for 50% off. Tardy. Tardy. Scratch head, looking for the brain implanted Google chip. I've had several of these in Burgundy at Clive Coates' ten years on tasting. I couldn't remember ---did I sort of like them? I buy one. Then I get home and remember, damn it. 100% new oak! It's a disaster. And no, I did not like these super- fruited oaky wines. But, if I brought it, the other's at the table might. But my name is on the bottle and I'd be embarrassing myself to bring something I'd surely condemn. Yet, it's $56 and I don't want to throw the money down the toilet. Yes, I also don't really want to own it. But, on the other hand, my reputation might be thrown down the toilet. On the other hand, there will be so much good wine around, no one will notice a lowly village wine from an unprestigious vineyard. On the other hand, what if no one shares their wine with me, and I'll have to drink the Tardy all night? More disaster. I've been looking forward to this Burgundy Bacchanal for weeks. I can't go slink home early out of embarrassment, nor could I drink Tardy all night. So do I go to Astor and pick up the 2001 Pacalet Pommard for $44? At least it's interesting, even though over the hill? Or shall I bring the Heresztyn, which won't be brilliant, but at least will/might be drinkable, and maybe it will surprise me? What do you think?