Monday, July 6, 2009

Wine Etiquette?

Brad Post:

Here is something I've thought about occasionally over the years: what is the etiquette when you are the recipient of a dinner-party wine gift?

For example, what do you, as the "giftee," do when someone is invited for dinner and gives you a bottle of wine? Do you: Option 1: Say, "thank-you" and open it at dinner? Option 2: Say "thank-you" and take it to your cellar and Not Open it?

In my experience it seems to depend on geography and perhaps cultural influences. You see, where I was raised and maybe that's a give-away there, (lots of boozers, you see) when someone shows up with some hooch - it gets opened and drunk right there. When I was living in the west (read: Seattle and Moscow, ID) when I'd bring a bottle to a party (poof) it went directly to the hosts stash, never to be seen again. could be that my wine gift was so wonderful they wanted to incorporate it into their cellar...or they deemed it so unpalatable they scoffed and hid it. Perhaps.

I do recall bringing a gift of Gewürztraminer (a wonderfully aromatic and spicy white) to a get together in Idaho and heard rumblings of how low-brow it was. Really?! I still love that fragrant wine (I even make its cousin, Traminette).

Anyway, I am still not sure about the proper etiquette when receiving a gift of wine at a party. To me, wine is meant to be shared and not hidden away as was so frequently the case in the west. Here in the Midwest, people have been quick to open their hearts and homes to us - and maybe even quicker to open the bottle of wine we bring to their party too! :)

I like that!

Happy Tastings
Ready for a dinner invite...bottle in one hand and opener in the other!


  1. if someone brings a bottle of wine to my house, i open it then and there.

    1. there are multiple bottles in the gifting.
    2. the wine is obviously inappropriate for the meal.
    3. there are multiple bottle of wine already open.

    it seems to me that the gift is best appreciated if it is enjoyed immediately.

  2. I almost always have a wine selected to accompany the meal that's being served. Therefore, when someone brings a gift bottle, I usually try to serve it either before or after the meal, depending on where it best fits. Whites tend to pair better with hors d'oeuvres. Reds and dessert wines (obviously) can be served after the meal. I also ask the gifter if they would mind if I open the bottle. Surprisingly, I've run across people who prefer that you put it away and open it at another time.