Is it Ever OK to Ask For Your Wine Back At the End of a Party?
What would your mother think?
This holiday season you surely attended your fair share of celebrations. From house parties to dinner feasts, family gatherings and work events odds are you went to them all. And odds are you brought a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer with you as an offering. But, what if at the end of the night your bottle or beers have gone unused? Is it OK for you to slyly take the bottles back and bring them home with you? Here’s what three experts have to say.
Robin Shreeves, Courier-Post: Maybe take it back, but ask.
According to Shreeves, it may be OK to bring your wine back with you so long as your host or hostess says it’s OK.
“I look at it as a ‘how well do you know your audience?’ type of decision,” Shreeves wrote in 2009. “When I’m at the home of a really close friend, I will ask, ‘Would you like me to leave this wine?’ Then I gauge their reaction. If they say something like, ‘Oh no, please take it. We won’t drink it,’ or ‘We have so much left over, please take it,’ I’ll take it home with me. Again, this is with close friends.” But, as Shreeves added, if anyone answers ambiguously with “It’s up to you” the bottle should be left without further discussion.
Florence Fabricant, The New York Times: Leave it.
Fabricant, an etiquette expert, noted in her column,“Yes, it would have been gracious if your friends had left the wine.” However, as she added, it’s not worth getting upset about if guests take home their wine, “unless it was a 2000 Margaux.”
WATCH: Holiday Etiquette
Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit: Leave it at all cost.
Beggs is a staunch believer that if you brought over wine or beer you need to leave it as a gift. It’s as simple as that.
“Don’t do that. That’s tacky. If you just got out of college and you’re broke, you think there are exceptions to all the rules. You get trashed at the wedding but don’t send a gift. Take all of grandma’s Christmas checks but never write a thank you card (TEXTS DON’T COUNT). Who cares if the host drinks the wine, they can dump it on a campfire for all I care. The point is, you gotta bring the thing. And leave it,” Beggs wrote.
Overall, it’s probably best for you to bring a bottle of wine or a special brew you’re willing to part with as a gift. This way, your host receives something special they can open later and you avoid possibly offending everyone by asking for your contribution back at the end of the night.