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AIBU or should hosts open booze / food that you bring to their house?

(115 Posts)
vincettenoir Wed 08-Aug-18 12:22:35

I have been burned a number of times when I have brought nice wine / champagne / after dinner mints that have been squirreled away for another occasion. I see these as an addition for the dinner but do some people see these offerings as a gift for the host?

How can I drop some hints that said wine / chocs are for sharing?

sexnotgender Wed 08-Aug-18 12:24:00

They are gifts for the host to do as they please.

However if they are providing cheap wine etc. Then my gift may be of corresponding value.

WindsweptNotInteresting Wed 08-Aug-18 12:25:29

I guess if you brought champagne etc you could say 'i thought we could open this after dinner' as you hand it over, that way there's no doubt.

PositiveVibez Wed 08-Aug-18 12:26:08

I would be laying on (decent) alcohol and food if I invited people to a soiree at my home.

If someone brought a bottle of wine, I would assume it was a gift and would only open it if supplies were low.

PuppyMonkey Wed 08-Aug-18 12:26:36

I usually just ask when host offers me a drink: “I’ll have a glass of that Chardonnay I brought along thanks.” Etc.

I’d also say: “right time to open those lovely chocolates then” at a suitable interlude during the proceedings.

Maybe everyone thinks I’m just a CF.grin

glintandglide Wed 08-Aug-18 12:27:07

Most people see them as gifts to the host- the host will have chosen the drinksfor the day, maybe based on food they are serving etc

That said, I would sometimes open gift booze and I don’t think either way should cause offence.

One thing I don’t like is people bringing and consuming their own booze to a dinner party etc, not bringing a gift or sharing. It’s a bit off.

Lisbonella Wed 08-Aug-18 12:27:45

YABU - it's a gift for the host, to thank them for hosting and the effort/money they've put into the food.

Plus, they've probably already planned what wine/snacks they want to use for the occasion, and don't want random contributions.

LanceStatersGold Wed 08-Aug-18 12:27:58

My FIL is adamant it’s bad manners to open wine etc that guests bring. I think he sees it as not being a good enough host if you can’t provide fully for your guests. I have no idea if this is one of those ‘rules’ regarding manners or not or just something he’s made up.

whatwouldkeithRichardsdo2 Wed 08-Aug-18 12:28:12

Depends really. If it's a gift for the host then they can open it any time they like.

Alternatively, if it's a bottle of wine you wish to share with them then a direct 'this is to drink tonight' when you hand it over usually works.

You also need to read the people and the situation. Perhaps the host doesn't want to serve your wine to their other guests? If it happens over and again with the same people, I'd buy less expensive wine to give.

HelpmeobiMN Wed 08-Aug-18 12:32:31

I will open booze bought by a guest if it’s suitable for the food we are having, but if it doen’t suit the food or isn’t cold etc etc I will keep it. I’m fussy about wine pairings though grin

If it’s after dinner chocolates I would usually open them - again though, if I had something in particular planned instead I might not.

I’ve never really cared if my wine is opened by my host at dinner parties I’ve been invited to.

Aragog Wed 08-Aug-18 12:34:53

It often also depends on who we are eating with too. If it's friends or family then we are more likely to open it and share it round. And vice versus at their houses.

It is is hosting for less familiar people or a more formal setting, such as dh's colleagues/clients then We would have planned the drinks accordingly and treat an offerings as a gift, and out to one side. Though may open them later too depending on the situation, or if they hinted at it. When we go to dinner in that situation we take the drinks/chocolates/flowers as a gift and wouldn't assume they'd be opened and shared.

freshstart24 Wed 08-Aug-18 12:49:31

I've usually already bought wine for the occasion- something that goes with the food and that is sufficient for all guests.

If I then opened whatever wine guests bought and served it to everyone they would all end up drinking a mish mash of several different wines.

For that reason I wouldn't serve wine bought by guests, and would assume it was a gift. However, I'd be more than happy to open it for them if they would prefer it to whatever I'd planned- could get complicated though with several guests all wanting their own offerings!

Pengggwn Wed 08-Aug-18 12:51:33

Burned 😂

You give the gift as a gift and then accept the hospitality of the host. If anything, it is rude to open the gift at the occasion, because it suggests you weren't adequately prepared for your guests.

TheHonGalahadThreepwood Wed 08-Aug-18 12:53:03

This is one of those confusions that is caused by changing practices so that different people have very fixed ideas on what is the "right" way to do things.

Traditionally, the host does the hosting. This includes provision of all food and drink from beginning to end of the evening. Guests reciprocate with a present (sometimes called a "hostess gift") of their choosing (wine, chocolate, flowers etc). This is not a contribution to the evening but a way of saying thank you to the host(s). I personally prefer this way, and think it makes sense as you can then pair wines with different courses appropriately, make sure white wine or sparkling wine is properly chilled, make a rich chocolate dessert without then feeling the need to follow it by opening a box of chocolates, etc.

Now, though, it's becoming increasingly common to rely on the fact that guests will probably bring something, most commonly wine. This means that many people have got into the habit of opening what their guests bring and using it as a contribution to the evening. But this in turn means that some people now get offended if the host doesn't open what they bring, even if the host has provided plenty of other nice things to eat and drink. The easiest thing is to be clear about what you are bringing: "I brought this as a contribution for tonight" vs "this bottle isn't for opening tonight: this is for you". I don't think it matters, really, unless you are bringing £25 bottles of wine and your host is serving you cheese on toast and half a glass of Liebfraumilch while squirrelling away your nice bottle, in which case you might want to rethink what you bring! But no, under normal circs your friends aren't being rude or unreasonable not to open your nice stuff as long as they're taking good care of their guests in return.

PrimalLass Wed 08-Aug-18 12:54:50

I normally get a bit pissed and can't remember who brought what grin

GreatDuckCookery Wed 08-Aug-18 12:57:34

It's a gift. For them to eat/drink whenever they choose.

PrimalLass Wed 08-Aug-18 12:58:18

I see these as an addition for the dinner but do some people see these offerings as a gift for the host?

Actually, unless you've been specifically asked to bring something it is a bit strange to assume your addition is needed and/or better than what you are offered.

Out of our group of friends we tend to host more often as we have little bit more room. So everyone pitches in a bit.

Mari50 Wed 08-Aug-18 13:14:36

Alcohol - not necessarily.
Food- yes, assuming it’s not chocolates etc. Once went to a friends who had agreed to host meet up last minute as original host was ill. We brought all the food (had been ordered by original host from M&S, paid for by everyone attending) she put it in the freezer and gave us shit from Asda.
However, she was good enough to host and if she wanted a freezer full of M&S party food who were we to argue....

flugelhorn81 Wed 08-Aug-18 13:23:52

I think it's a bit rude to ask to drink/eat something you've brought for the host, unless you have very specific likes/dislikes and you've made it clear you've brought it for yourself. I sometimes do end up opening wine people bring, but usually I'd have some ready for my guests and wouldn't expect to rely on what they bring, unless it's a really informal dinner.

Shoxfordian Wed 08-Aug-18 13:31:03

It's a gift for the host to thank them for their hospitality not something that you should expect to be eaten or drunk immediately

Notonthestairs Wed 08-Aug-18 13:47:12

It's a gift for the host and therefore up to them what they do with it.

I take along drink that I know the host likes - not necessarily what I want to drink. If we have very different tastes I'll take a gift bottle and a bottle of my preferred beverage to open.

DowntownDallas Wed 08-Aug-18 13:49:05

Etiquette is that it is poor manners to open any food or drink brought to an event.

LemonysSnicket Wed 08-Aug-18 13:49:58

Well if everyone brought wine and they had already bought an planned the wine there's no point having 15 bottles for 8 people is there?

LemonysSnicket Wed 08-Aug-18 13:50:43

And @PuppyMonkey I would think you were rude, yes, by

Bluelady Wed 08-Aug-18 13:55:48

If I take wine or chocolates it's a hostess gift and I don't expect it to be opened. I usually take flowers so there can be no confusion.

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