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  1. #11
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    As I've never been invited to a formal dinner party (at least to my recollection at this time) I have to fall back on less formal occasions. When I bring a bottle of wine or bourbon to a friend's house, it's usually meant to be a gift, but usually it's discussed before I get there and the wine is usually my contribution to the dinner. I say this because I usually know ahead of time what is being served and pick the wine to go with the meal myself. Not that I'm snobbish about it, but that so few of my friends actually have any stock of wine to choose from. Myself, I only have a dozen or so bottles at any given time.

    BTW, which Boones Farm goes with caviar anyway?
    Dane
    I don't drink to excess. But I'll drink to most anything else.

  2. #12
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Dane,

    It depends.

    Is it sturgeon caviar or flathead caviar?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    As long as someone else is serving it, I'll take either.

    Gary

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    As Dane so often does, he raises a good point in the midst of a joke. There's certainly nothing wrong, especially with close friends, about consulting in advance about how you can contribute to the event and, in that case, anything is fair game.

    Although wine has become the traditional hostess gift, sometimes it isn't appropriate, such as when you know the hosts don't drink. Bringing an unsolicited dessert or other perishable is a no-no for the reasons listed above and some of the knick-knack items that may have been suitable in the past, like a set of napkin rings, can be problematic for other reasons.

    One thing I have had success with is flowers. When you are bringing flowers, as opposed to sending them, they don't need to be in a vase or other container. Much like with wine, they can go on the table if the hostess so chooses, or they can brighten another part of the house otherwise. I usually pick up a seasonal bouquet at the grocery store. Nothing too fancy, as it's mostly about the gesture anyway.

  5. #15
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    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.
    I remember from French class it is very insulting to bring a bottle of wine when invited to dinner. The reasoning is the host has invested time in creating a complete dinner including drinks, and by bringing a bottle the guest is saying the host is incompetent. That's how the French do it as explained by the textbook.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21837019/page/2/

  6. #16
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I found this interesting tidbit in the referred web article:
    Quote Originally Posted by WineGuy View Post
    2. Bring low-maintenance flowers but not...anything yellow (which suggests the hostess's husband is unfaithful)...
    I'm going to Texas in the next week (!!!) and it makes me think: is that the meaning of "Yellow Rose of Texas?"

    I'm shocked...

    Roger

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Quote Originally Posted by WineGuy View Post
    I remember from French class it is very insulting to bring a bottle of wine when invited to dinner. The reasoning is the host has invested time in creating a complete dinner including drinks, and by bringing a bottle the guest is saying the host is incompetent. That's how the French do it as explained by the textbook.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21837019/page/2/
    Is anybody here French?

    Certainly different cultures have different ideas and the rationale is similar. Perhaps they don't really have any kind of hostess gift tradition, which I believe is something we got from the English. Anyway, Miss Manners and those sorts of authorities are my sources.

    Maybe we should have asked if the person who made the original query was going to dinner in France. If I was going to dinner in France and wanted to bring a gift, I'd probably bring bourbon.

  8. #18
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Quote Originally Posted by Rughi View Post
    I found this interesting tidbit in the referred web article:




    I'm going to Texas in the next week (!!!) and it makes me think: is that the meaning of "Yellow Rose of Texas?"

    I'm shocked...

    Roger
    The "Yellow Rose" was a hooker who kept Mexican President Santa Anna drunk and distracted the night before General Sam Houston's troops charged the encampment at San Jacinto. When the Texans routed his troups, Santa Anna is reported to have been caught in her clothes making a break for it. Legend says he was still dressed in drag when he signed the treaty which gave Texas her independence in May 2, 1836.

  9. #19
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    Aggggg- typo- March 2, not May 2. And that was the declaration, not the battle.

    Bourbon makes me wobbly on my Texas history.

  10. #20
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    Re: What is the proper ettiquete in this matter

    I think much has to do with the event and the people. We have a casual group that gathers for dinner and we will typically take, as Chuck mentioned, flowers for the hostess and a bottle of wine to serve with the dinner (which I will coordinate in advance to insure it fits the meal).

    For a more formal gathering we will typically take a bottle of wine that I would not expect to be served at the dinner. We do try to select something to fit our hosts tastes..... this could be a classified Bordeaux, a crisp pinot blanc or a big Aussie syrah.
    "The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana Cigar"

 

 

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