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  1. #1

    What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Just for emphasis, I never 'enjoyed' spirits like I have for last 3 to 4 months. I am learning (and tasting) everything.

    My question is this:

    Say you have a guest call. They come over to your house to visit. With them they bring a bottle of (spirit)...or (beers).

    Is it customary to serve that immediately? The reason I ask is because when I was growning up, and my parents would have company, they would bring liquor. However, all that liquor is still in my parents cabinets. Because.....they really don't drink. But is it a custom to serve it? What is the proper ettiquete regarding this matter?

  2. #2
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    My inclination would be to offer to open and serve it, but I am unsure what etiquette would call for.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #3
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I have no idea in regard to what I might call traditional etiquette. However, I think consideration for others is the key.

    In that (ahem!) spirit I would cheerfully offer the guests a choice.

    "I was thinking about opening this bottle of Elmer Van Russell's Special Old Kentucky Nectar 10 year-old, but this Old Bird Feathers is interesting, too. Which would you prefer?"

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  4. #4
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I remember when I first got married, my wife and I had a dinner party for her parents and their friends. I went to the library and was looking up information from Emily Post or someone like that, on how to set a formal table, how to offer or serve drinks...
    Now my memory sucks, but I recall that in offering the Hostess gifts, the giver should not be intending to have the bottle or gift opened at the event. In the event it was a small wrapped gift, and if they asked you to open it, you should do it in their presence away from other guests who might not have brought something.
    That's the "formal" etiquette I recall...but I imagine the "rules" are different depending on the type of party? I am always open to learn more and be corrected. I am not in a business type job where entertaining is part of my "work", my entertaining is much more casual.

    Todd

  5. #5

    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I was thinking like this:

    I invite someone just to invite. Sure...I'll offer dinner.

    Now they come with a few beers. Or a bottle. So my as the host, do I ask them if that is intended to drink during our association?

  6. #6
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    The official etiquette is as Todd described it. Here it is in a little more detail.

    When you are invited to someone's home for dinner, it is customary to bring a hostess gift. Although a hostess gift can be anything, wine is customary and spirits certainly are appropriate.

    The key word here is "gift." A gift becomes the property of the recipient and its use is entirely at the recipient's discretion. People who are offended if their gift is not immediately served are simply wrong, etiquette-wise. The reasons should be fairly obvious. The hostess (please excuse the implicit sexism, but this is how most etiquette books are written) has planned an experience and unless the event was billed as a pot-luck, all aspects of the experience are at the discretion of the hostess. If she wants to serve one of more of the gifts she has received, she may do so, but she is under no obligation.

    This is why, for example, it is considered bad form to bring a dessert or something that more-or-less has to be served. A guest should not impose him or herself on the experience planned by the hostess.
    Last edited by cowdery; 02-23-2008 at 12:28.

  7. #7
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I do all of the cooking in my house and have a small (50-60 bottles) collection of wines. I have read and heard that when one brings a gift of wine, the host has the option of opening the bottle for dinner or reserving for future consumption.

    The reason is culinary: the host may have cooked some aspect of the meal with a particular wine in mind. Thus, the guest adds a bottle to the collection of the host for future consideration, and the guest gets to experience the meal as the host intended. I usually keep note of which bottle came from which couple so I can make the next dinner based on that bottle (at least for one course). Guests seem to appreciate that quite a bit.

    My wine collection started when a couple brought a bottle of 1997 Mondavi Reserve Cabernet to a dinner party. I instantly recognized that this bottle would have been decent that night, but would be spectacular in 10 years. So, I laid it down in the cellar. If we still talked to that couple, I'd invite them over to drink it. I meant to open it for my doctoral hooding ceremony, but I forgot.

    As a secondary point, is "host" now gender neutral, like "actor"? If so, please mentally revise all above mentions of "host" to appear as "hostess/host."
    Jeremy
    www.awksome.com

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
    --Kurt Vonnegut


  8. #8
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    This is all very good to know and is all very logical.
    ~ Jeff ~

    "A One That is Not Cold is Hardly a One at All."


  9. #9
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I think being a good host is an art. Knowing your crowd, setting the tone, making introductions, making sure your guests drink is refreshed. Being a good host should be passed down, like teaching your kids to carve a turkey, to make a toast, how to mix a drink, how to set a table and when "ettiquete" is important.
    I think one of the biggest lessons my Mom passed on to me was to enjoy serving people, enjoy creating an atmosphere where people are going to have a good time. Some times using the proper ettiquete makes it all easier.
    And we never stop learning, I have picked up more than a couple good ideas from this forum on liquors to have on hand an how to serve them.

    Todd

  10. #10
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I had a friend back in Louisville who was the consummate hostess. I learned so much from her. It really is an art and when you have the opportunity to observe a true hosting artist at work, don't miss it.

    It's one thing to have the food and beverages working, but her great thing was picking and mixing the people, making sure everybody was in the mix, and nobody sat on the sidelines.

    And her most amazing talent of all? Making it look effortless.

 

 

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