The art of what to bring to dinner
Well the holidays are here again, are you excited? Whether it’s your favorite time of year or you’re already over it, you’re likely going to at least one dinner or party by New Years. So the question probably isn’t ‘what to bring to dinner’ as much as ‘what kind(s) of wine’ am I bringing, right? Well, there’s an infinite amount of articles about pairing wine out there so we’re not going to talk about that. Regardless of the type of wine you bring along we should talk about what to expect socially.
I actually found that there was a surprising amount of disagreement over bringing vino to parties (holiday or otherwise). One well known etiquette expert went so far as to say that anyone who brings wine is an ‘idiot’ (she also recommends waiting till after the entrée to bring out the crackers, so she might not be firing on all cylinders). If you’re reading this, we can both agree that bringing wine to a party does not make you an idiot, but a thoughtful, and cultured friend. So here’s a couple of quick tips for wine etiquette for the Holidays or whenever.
1. It’s a gift
There is every chance in the world that the bottle you bring might not be opened and enjoyed during the event you’re attending. So consider the bottle you bring along to be a gift – this should be a factor when deciding the price range and quality of the bottle you choose (remember they are not mutually exclusive). And for goodness sake – never ask to take home your unopened bottle at the end of the night.
With this is mind, choose a bottle that ages like…a fine wine. Syrah is an excellent choice, and our Swanky Devil Syrah is always a great choice, and always a good talking point too.
2. The host knows best
Your friends have gone to great lengths to create the experience you’re about to enjoy so assume that they have all the wine pairings handled – even if you’re sure you know better than they do, save that for when you’re hosting.
With that said, if you’re bringing along a bottle that has special significance it’s not inappropriate to tastefully suggest that fellow party goers have a chance to taste it. Depending on the host you may even be able to bring along a simple, appropriate, pairing for your special bottle (think cheese or fruit – not a dish).
If your host is the type to pre-pair the wines, you might have luck with a dessert wine, as often times there may or may not be a pairing for dessert planned. Our Reveler’s Rose is a crisp and fruity wine that would go beautifully with most fruit or berry based pies that are popular this time of year.
3. Know what you’re bringing?
Depending on the mood of the event you’re attending you may want to stick with a wine that you’re familiar with – avant garde flavors like Pineapple Jalapeno Wine Sangria aren’t necessarily for everyone. If the setting isn’t too formal though, there’s no reason not to stretch your palate and try something new – but if you do this, you may want to go the route mentioned earlier and suggest opening the bottle at the event. If you’re uncertain about the reception your bottle will receive it may be better to mea culpa during the party than have your host open the bottle later in private and wonder what you were thinking.
When it’s all said and done though, it’s definitely not worth stressing over too much (especially this time of year). Your host will undoubtedly appreciate anything you’re willing to contribute to their event – regardless of what stuffed shirt etiquette experts would have you believe.