SYOB Uncovered at the RAMMYS

A small item in the Washington Post on Tuesday about the RAMMYS made me think that there must be restaurants in town that have relaxed their corkage policies. Or is this a SYOB (Sneak Your Own Bottle) trend instead of the more traditional BYOB. If it’s OK to sneak wine into another’s place of business, does the same standard apply in their own restaurants. Apparently the wines donated by Chile for the event did not meet the SNOB appeal for some.

The Post blurb is about the fact that wines were brought in from some restaurants at their tables because the expectation would be the wines at the event would need an “appropriate” upgrade. It made me think about how the foods and wines make it to the table at the RAMMYS. They are donated. 100 percent of the fine Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon Blend and Carmenere Blend were brought to the event by Chile – and from my perspective were more than “lovely” … they were great pairings for the best meal I’ve seen at an event for 1600 people. I was also glad to see at the opening reception a representative sampling of Virginia wines for a local statement. 

This is the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s major fundraiser for the year … meaning they can continue to diligently monitor the activities of the DC City Council, regulatory agencies, the numerous legislative bodies in Northern Virginia and in the state legislature as well as promoting the members tirelessly. The monies also go toward the Education Foundation for support of culinary programs in high schools and for providing scholarships to deserving students so they continue their education. It is with the volunteer support of many individuals, the product donations of companies, restaurants, countries and distributors that the success of the RAMMYS is guaranteed.

So, wine for 1600 for three courses … I think that’s a major statement of support from Chile. And Iceland provided the center of the plate for four courses (all donated). Thank you from this corner – no upgrade is necessary.

To me, it’s not a big deal until you’re outed and relish the press mention, so maybe the SYOB crowd will consider sharing their wine wealth with the rest of us next year. Figuring a glass for every person, that would be 30 cases or so … I’m sure RAMW would accept the donation – and we could all be self-declared serious oenophiles. Sounds like a toast is in order.

About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

Comments (1)

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  1. Touch of class and gratitude – well done, Michael!
    Not only was the SYOB (love that!) tactless, but I found the entire tenor of the Post blurb to be equally offensive. The piece (incidentally -not written by a wine or food critic) gratuitously took umbrage with the quality of wines served at the RAMMY dinner. The authors’ remarks were ungracious and in poor taste. As a wine educator and wine columnist, I can expertly say the dinner wines were all well chosen and unique. At the risk of sounding as tactless as the authors, I wonder if Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts can even pronounce “Carmenere”, much less discern the beauty of the wine.
    Every sponsor who graciously and selflessly contributed to the evening deserves high marks and thanks. Unfortunately, since no good deed seems to go unpunished, I would be surprised to see this level of sponsorship spirit and generosity repeated at future RAMMYS. Pity.
    And Michael – Congratulations to you and Food Service Monthly for earning Associate Member of the Year Award! Well deserved.

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