In the old days our great aunt would squirrel away the gift because it was the right thing, not to open a present it front of guests.

These days, if you are taking a wine to someone’s home it is usually to be enjoyed that day with the host of the dinner party, opened and served with the meal. If you intended to offer the wine as a gift, you should tell the hosts on arrival that it is to be enjoyed at a later date. I have some friends who write the name of who gave them the wine on the very bottle and when they finally open it for a special occasion they write a note to say thank you and how much they enjoyed it. Sometimes, they save it for a time when they are together again.

As the host, always make an effort to serve the guest’s wine at the appropriate time during the meal and make a fuss of how great it is, even if sometimes it’s not. If your guest has brought a rather unpalatable bottle, serve their wine and another bottle to give your guests a greater choice of wine during the meal.

Finally, what would you do if the wine you brought to the dinner party reveals to be amazingly delicious but the bottle remains half full at the end of the night? Well, sadly no, you cannot take the golden liquid home! The same rule applies also if your bottle of wine stays unopened during the course of the dinner. Unless of course, the host engages you to take the bottle home at the end of the party..