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Talk to me about dinner party etiquette please

(135 Posts)
Illtellyouwhatswhat10 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:39:05

We had a regular group of friends over last evening - deal is that my H cooks Spanish themed dish in return guests are asked to contribute wine.
We have one single woman who persistently does not bring wine but strange things that we don't really want. Eg last night a handful of walnuts and some gift wrapped nougat. She was not driving as her friend was, so she was quite happy to demolish 2 large glasses of wine. Don't know how to deal with this TBH but has set me wondering:
If you are invited to a dinner party as a couple, and one of you is driving. Do you bring: 2 bottles of wine and preferred choice of soft drink for the driver (personally I can't stand soft drinks except sparkling water so always bring my own when it's my turn to drive);
Or one bottle of wine for the drinker and some nice non-alcoholic beverage for the driver?
Is it acceptable as a couple to bring a single alcoholic beverage between you, and if so, is it fair to expect a single person to bring a whole bottle?
These days our rule is we take 2 bottles of wine when both of us are lucky to be invited out but what does anyone else think?

MrsZB Sat 21-Oct-17 08:42:31

I think you drink a lot?!

As a couple we would take 1 bottle of wine and 1 bottle soft drink. And maybe flowers or chocolates.

As a single person I would always take 1 bottle of wine or soft drink.

She sounds like a cheeky fecker passing off unwanted gifts to you and expecting you to be grateful!

MrsZB Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:08

If this is a regular thing that you do then actually I probably would also give you guys a nice bottle of wine to have another time as a thank you.

OliviaStabler Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:23

Usually I take one or two bottles of wine if I go to a dinner party, even if I am driving. I would not drink the wine but would drink water.

Does this friend have a habit of being tight (assuming she has no money worries)?

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:32

I really wouldn't be noticing and commenting on what people brought. Life's too short!

However since you've asked, did her friend bring wine? How much did she drink(as you seem to be keeping tab). Maybe they drank a bottle between them?
We would usually take a red and a white but as I only ever drink around one glass of white, the rest of my bottle could go to people like your single friend?

Caulk Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:44

Depends on how much is drunk. I wouldn’t drink a whole bottle of wine myself so would probably bring one wine and soft drink as a couple or one bottle as a single person

Neolara Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:59

Depends how much you drink. I would expect one bottle per couple.

Illtellyouwhatswhat10 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:47:18

Ha ha yes probably!
What makes it worse is that she is incredibly wealthy and it just seems so ... mean. Agree with you Mrs she probably has some stuff lying around she does not want so thinks, oh yes, I can palm it off.

givemestrengthorgin Sat 21-Oct-17 08:50:17

I would bring one bottle to drink and one as a gift to the host.

teaortequila23 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:50:33

She’s rude. If she was a non drinker I would think what she is doing is fine and maybe she should add another drink choice but since she is drinking the wine that she didn’t bring that’s cheeky!
If she has a turn you shouldn’t take any alcohol and just take her unwanted silly things like she has lol

LoniceraJaponica Sat 21-Oct-17 08:50:42

I would only expect one bottle per couple. I drank half a bottle of white wine last night and now have a banging headache.

A bottle per person is a lot of wine.

doomyandgloomy Sat 21-Oct-17 08:50:43

In our friendship circles it would be totally acceptable not to take wine, unless specifically asked for.
Flowers, chocolates, veg from the garden, homemade gin are the sort of gifts for the hosts we take and receive.

But if the deal was you cooked and your guests bought the booze then it's rude not to bring any.

Illtellyouwhatswhat10 Sat 21-Oct-17 08:52:11

It's interesting, isn't it? On further analysis, I can see that if a couple bring 1 bottle of wine between them and then a single person is expected to bring 1 bottle, it is technically unfair on the single one.
BUT, as you've all said so far, it's good form to take a bottle of wine regardless of whether it's just one or two of you! Simply good etiquette in my view.
Yes Woods we do this usually each month as my H loves to cook Spanish cuisine but I'm afraid it has started to annoy us ... especially as she is really well off and it's the meanness I can't abide.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sat 21-Oct-17 08:55:47

Oh I didn't get that it's you cooking every single time. I thought you were talking turns. That is mean of her never to bring any.

JonSnowsWife Sat 21-Oct-17 08:58:52

What makes it worse is that she is incredibly wealthy and it just seems so ... mean.

I don't necessarily think it's mean. She IS bringing something. Just not what you have asked for. Not bringing anything at all would be cheeky fuckery but then again I've never understood the dinner party etiquette anyway. My friends invite me for dinner and the guests are never expected to contribute.

WrittenandGrown Sat 21-Oct-17 09:01:13

For us. The hosts provide the food and drink as they are hosting. And the guests bring a gift for the hosts which is often wine to be drunk at another time (or chocs of flowers). Bringing your own drink and drinking it seems very student like to me.

McTufty Sat 21-Oct-17 09:01:21

If we are both drinking we will take 2 bottles of wine - usually one fizzy and one white/red. I also always take flowers and chocolates. A lot of work goes into hosting a dinner party and I like to show appreciation.

McTufty Sat 21-Oct-17 09:01:52

By the way when I was single I always took one bottle plus the flowers etc

Illtellyouwhatswhat10 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:03:51

But Jon if someone invites me to their home and asks me to contribute a bottle of wine, what makes it okay to think I won't bring what my host has asked for and which may be appreciated by others?

Last night she proffered 7 walnuts and 6 pieces of toffee nougat (to be shared amongst 10 people). I'm afraid (nice though the walnuts were but not the ghastly toffee) we would have preferred what we actually ask for - a nice bottle of wine. Funnily enough everyone else seems to manage this without any problem at all!

Lunaballoon Sat 21-Oct-17 09:04:11

Might she not have realised guests were supposed to bring wine? She may have thought nougat & nuts were in keeping with the Spanish theme (turron?)

purplecorkheart Sat 21-Oct-17 09:06:11

Normally bring a bottle of red and a bottle of white. Tend to bring dessert/foodie bits for host as well.

When hosting I provide the wine though to pair with the food I am serving. The wine people bring is appreciated but it wouldn't bother me if they didn't bring any.

However, I do not host dinner parties that often or attend as we seem to go to restaurants mid way between us all now.

Lunaballoon Sat 21-Oct-17 09:06:27

Ah, cross post. Toffee nougat wouldn't be Spanish at all.

SinglePringle Sat 21-Oct-17 09:06:48

Last dinner party I went to (alone) I took a bottle of fizz and a bottle of red. I ‘expected’ the fizz to be opened (it was chilled) but wouldn’t have minded if it weren’t. The red was the hosts to do with as they pleased (don’t know if it were opened or not).

I also took chocolates and paid for lunch the next day (I stayed).

Illtellyouwhatswhat10 Sat 21-Oct-17 09:08:08

Luna - she knows smile Everyone gets sent the same invitation and message. Usually she says she's driving (so in her own mind probably justifies not bringing a bottle) but a few times her friend has been driving.
One time (when she was driving) she asked for a soft drink and I offered her what we have - sparkling water as it's my choice of soft drink. She looked really put out, but did not think even to bring a soft drink with her.

doomyandgloomy Sat 21-Oct-17 09:11:53

So this is a regular thing and you always host and she never brings a bottle?
She has no manners.

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