Thanks For The Wine
When hosting a dinner party, you may be the lucky recipient of a gift bottle of wine from one of your guests. What’s the etiquette for accepting this gift?
Do you open it and share it, or keep it for another day? In my opinion, the best way to make everyone happy is to communicate openly about the gift.
As a guest bringing the bottle, you should not expect the host to open it and share it with you. However if the hosts asks if they should open it now, be gracious and give them the option:
- “This bottle is a gift for you - you can keep it or open it, it’s up to you.”
- “Yes I would love to help you open it, unless you already have the wines picked for the evening.” (If this is a wine you really want to drink with your friends, keep it for when you have them over and open it then.)
As a host, it is most polite to offer to share even if you had your wine picked out. A nice way to open the communication is by being honest and compromise:
- "I already have wines picked out for dinner, but if you would like to share this wine tonight I‘ll be happy to open it."
Wine is a thoughtful and generous gift for many occasions, for people who enjoy it. Try to find out what kinds of wines your intended recipient is fond of, and select a bottle from one of your favorite wineries or wine shops. As you know, one bottle of a nice wine can stand alone as a gift, and if the recipient prefers light wines, you could select several bottles for them to explore and enjoy. Wine club memberships make excellent gifts also –for example St. Supéry sells 6-month and 12-month memberships – your friend, family or boss would receive three or six separate shipments of two bottles each, along with winemaker notes and recipes, every other month (they also receive numerous member benefits at the winery). The recipient of such a gift is reminded of you every time they receive a shipment, and may thank you for adding another favorite winery to their list. Please visit the Clubs section for more information.
After all, some sage advice for gift giving:
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare”
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) Irish author and scholar.