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Wine Etiquette

Parties I attend are not of the dinner/wine match up variety. I always like to bring a bottle of wine for my host as a gift, but, I also would like to bring my own bottle, as I do not care for common red and white varieties.

I prefer Beringer White Zinfandel or Reggiano Lambrusco Le Grotte.

Is it acceptable to bring along another bottle for my own consumption and to share with my host.


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  1. Etiquette questions are always controversial. Unless you know the host very well and you are sure it wont affect other guests then... as my parents used to tell me, "you eat what's served you." To do otherwise is to insinuate that the hosts have not provided an adequate meal. If you want to offer to bring wine in advance, you have to be prepared for the host to say that they have everything covered.

    Short answer. No, it's not acceptable.

    1. No I don't really think it's acceptable to bring something because you don't particularly like what's being served. Would you bring a roast chicken because you don't particularly like the host's tendency to serve fish rather than chicken?

      1. It really depends on the situation, the type of party, your age, and how much you plan on drinking that night... If it is a type of fun 'open bar' party where everyone is mingling (super bowl party, bbq, birthday, etc), then it is fine. If it is a more intimate setting, say with dinner or cocktails, then no it is not appropriate.

        The more pressing issue though: If your preference is white zin, what type of wine are you giving as a gift?

        1. If you have to ask............................

          1. If it's just a party and not a dinner party, then I think it's fine. I would not even notice if someone did this at a party I'm hosting. It's the same as bringing a 6 pack of beer and cracking one.

            But, if it's a dinner party - if everyone sits down and eats together - it's not okay. You're implying that you don't think your hosts know how to choose wine. OTOH, that's just etiquette. The worst that's going to happen is that your friends who know you well will think you have this eccentric picky thing about wine, right? But I'd skip it for first impressions or people who aren't your close friends.

            1. It's ok to bring it but wrong to have any expectation that's it's your wine for your consumption. If the host gets around to opening your bottle or asks would you like to have what you brought then enjoy.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Chinon00

                Is this also true if you bring a 6 pack of beer to a BBQ?

                1. re: Raids

                  I guess it depends on your friends but with my friends at an event like a cookout unless you have a dietary restriction and need to only consume what you bought then everything is community property.

                  1. re: reatard

                    Exactly. And what's left is the property of whomever hosted the party. Although beware, I attended a dinner party once where a guest brought a bottle of Chateau Neuf du Pape and handed to the host. Minutes later after the guest had left the room he says to me "this baby ain't getting served tonight it's all for me later;)

                    1. re: reatard

                      Right, you'd have to share, of course, but you could definitely open it for yourself to have right away also, I would think.

                2. It's not ok...but.

                  If you can get yourself put on wine duty, you can open what you like. ;-)

                  If they're very good friends then I say bring it.

                  1. If these are friends and they are informal (like everyone can BYOB or share) then I don't see a problem as long as you stress that it is YOU that has a particular taste to contend with. Some folks don't drink alcohol at all and bring their own beverage all the time. It's not inappropriate. I have fairly informal dinners with a friend that really prefers beer over wine (for all meals). He brings his own. Not a problem, I want him to enjoy himself - not politely sip my wine and not like it.

                    A real formal dinner party is different. It is not appropriate to bring anything other than a gift unless asked.

                    I would suggest the wine you bring as a host gift not be one of the wines you prefer. I would give them something else. As you noticed, most folks won't appreciate the wines you prefer.

                    1. We have some friends that don't like wine, and were bringing their own rum and mixers. I started providing rum and mixers as we became closer, and that worked out okay. On the other hand, we've had friends that bring over wine that I wouldn't necessarily think to buy, and if they ask, I'll open it. I don't take it personally. I wouldn't take wine except as a gift as I'm always open to try whatever our host provides, but that's me.

                      1. Ya brings yer wine and ya takes yer chances! A simple "Do you mind if we open the wine I brought? I've become attached to it! ;o))" would be OK, unless your party is at Buckingham Palace.

                        As said above...... unless you know the hosts really well (and it's OK with them) it is not the best form to open your own wine or insist that it be opened. I doubt that you'd be tossed from the party over it, but it can be a bit touchy with some people.

                        1. Appreciate all the replies.

                          I probably should have been more specific. This was a Superbowl party, shower clogs, tank tops, beer and nachos. I am not a beer drinker, so I'd prefer to bring the wine, but, there is always the chance, that I will have only 1 glass while the rest to those "with champagne tastes ..."

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: ccconner1

                            whole different thing. Bring what you like, and hope you get that you get it all! If you're worried you won't get more than your one glass-- bring two!

                            1. re: DGresh

                              And, if you're bringing something like Beringer White Zinfandel you are likely to have it ALL to yourself!

                              1. re: Tripeler

                                Most definitely depends on the crowd.

                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                    Not if my Mother In Law is there, she drinks that stuff... She even asks at 4 star restaurants if they have it... not kidding.

                                      1. re: Midlife

                                        I have seen that link, and it made me laugh because I pictured my elderly mother in law as being *That* woman. I will never forget the first time I went into a very expensive restaurant with her, I ordered a glass of old vine zinfandel and she said "buy a bottle and we can share" so I did, and when it came out she was so upset, she thought it was white zinfandel. She added icewater to her glass of wine trying to dilute it! No joke. But hey, it worked for her.

                                1. re: ccconner1

                                  At that type of party, once the cork gets poped, it's fair game who gets to drink it. To that type of event, if I plan on drinking 3 of my special beers, I bring a 6 pack. If I plan on drinking 6, I bring a 12 pack and so on. If you want to drink a whole bottle, bring 2. You have to be prepared to share. Back (way back) in my college daze, no one would sit in a corner and smoke one by themselves. I know it's especially painful to bring an expensive bottle and watch the unwashed masses who have zero appreciation chug it down in front of you but sometimes you just have to suck it up.

                                  1. re: bobbert

                                    That's why you bring a decoy bottle. :)

                                    That said, the good stuff is always better when shared with close friends. And if you aren't surrounded by close friends, then don't bring the good stuff.

                                2. After seeing your clarification, then I'd say yes, don't give it a second thought.

                                  My first thought, though, was to agree that it very much depends on how well you know the host. A nice way to spin it might be to hand them the Zin as "something to drink" and a "nicer" bottle as "something for your collection." Sets the expectations for both, without saying "I felt like I had to bring you something else in order to bring a bottle I like."