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Oct 7, 2008 08:30 AM

Question: Wine or Coffee After a Meal?

I'm working on an article and I would love to get some input from chowhounders. After you are done with a meal, do you reach for wine or coffee more often?

What are the factors that make you go one way or another?

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    1. re: dinwiddie

      I should qualify my reply to say that I often have Port , a Sauterne, or other dessert wine with (or for) dessert, but then I still normally finish with coffee or espresso.

    2. I enjoy taking my time, finishing the wine I had with dinner, then getting an espresso. I hate it when restaurants try to rush you into dessert.

      1. lunch/brunch, will finish with a coffee (espresso)

        dinner 50% of the time will finish the wine with the dessert; and depending on the night and if I'm doing something else after, will get an espresso.

        1. As much as I would love a frothy cappuccino with a cannoli after dinner, caffeine after 4 pm will hinder my night's sleep. I'll go with a porto, sauterne, cognac, Sambucca, or in Mexico an Xtabentun.

          1. How can this be an "either/or" answer? Doesn't it depend upon the evening? one's mood? one's prior consumption, possibly weighed against one's ability to safely drive following dinner at a friend's house or an evening out? On, as you say, "the factors"?

            And when is the meal over? When you get up from the table and leave the room? (Do people seriously adjourn from the table into the study for brandy and cigars anymore?) Is the meal over when the dessert is finished? And, for that matter, doesn't depend upon the dessert?

            For example, with a cheese course, I would probably prefer a glass of Porto, but with -- for example -- an apple pie, I'd rather have coffee. Then again, If I'm dining at home, I'll pass on the coffee with the apple pie, and have an espresso when comepletely finished with the meal; but in a restaurant, I'll order brewed coffee (versus an espresso or cappuccino, as so few restaurants really make good espresso) -- generally decaf.

            But COMPLETELY "after a meal" -- dessert is finished, and we're at home but away from the dinner table -- then it's maybe coffee and/or Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados or Madeira

            5 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              << (Do people seriously adjourn from the table into the study for brandy and cigars anymore?) >>

              Yes, absolutely. Well, not the study, brandy and cigars ... but yes, with my family for holiday dinners, or when visiting my parents, or when I have people over to my place for dinner, when the eating is finished, who wants to keep sitting at the table? After coffee, you go move somewhere comfortable, and bring the amari! Or, selon vos goƻts, wine, coffee, soda, whatever.

              1. re: tmso

                Which was precisely my point! (And if you'll notice, above, I *did* write, "dessert is finished, and we're at home but away from the dinner table . . . ") Surely if one is finished eating dinner, one leaves the table -- and depending upon location, you might move from your dining room to your living room, from the hotel restaurant to the hotel bar, from a restaurant HOME, to the opera, play, movies, etc., etc., etc.

                1. re: zin1953

                  It's entirely possible that I collect strange and unusual friends, but experience has taught me to stay at the table if I don't want a bunch of people to leave. When I have help, he or she will clear the table and bring in the coffee and booze. When I don't, I do it but never allow anyone to get up to help me. That's a sure invitation to an exodus! I have plenty of room to "retire" to the library or living room or family room or patio, on a warm starry bug-free night, but some of the best conversationalists always bug out on me when I do that. So I don't do it.

                  We linger over coffee and liquor or liqueurs and talk the night away. Sometimes the coffee is filtre, sometimes espresso, sometimes Turkish. The liquor is most often a really nice cognac. But I love Danziger Goldwasser, for example, after a fine holiday dinner. The little gold flakes floating in the glass under a well trimmed holiday chandelier and great conversation is the stuff memories are made of.

                  Follow the trail that gets you where you want to go! '-)

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Yeah, I got that from the bottom of your post, but the top seemed to be saying the opposite. My point was that we still retire to the living room for amari, so I'm certain that WASPs still do brandy and cigars in the study.

                2. re: zin1953

                  (Do people seriously adjourn from the table into the study for brandy and cigars anymore?)

                  Ah, yes. Well not brandy as a rule but I enjoy an after dinner libation and a cigar many nights after dinner and when entertaining cigar friendly friends we do just that.