In Australia, (and elsewhere, I’m sure) it’s a nice tradition that people bring a bottle to a gathering but my number one rule is, the minute you walk in the door, the wine no longer belongs to you.
1. It seems some people worry that the lovely bottle of wine they’ve selected for a friend’s dinner will be whisked away and they’ll be served an inferior wine?
What to do…
Forget it. It’s not the last supper. Would anyone really think friends are whisking it away to serve on another occasion? Who on earth are they keeping it for? This is a myth. Perhaps the friends don’t know the wine. Perhaps they really like their own selection.
Feel compassion and next time, bring a simpler bottle. If they are secreting it away, they are to be pitied. It’s only wine, (but surely no-one knows anybody like this).
2. Have you gone to dinner and worried that your wine won’t be served so you’ve turned up with it opened, to force your host’s hand? Golly, I hope not.
Never do this. It shows lack of trust and greed. You’re bigger than this. Just hand the bottle over. It’s not the last bottle of wine you’ll drink.
3. Have you refused to drink the wine you’ve been poured and demanded to drink yours? Golly, I hope not. Eating together is about sharing the experience, the food and the wine.
Just drink it. Put up with it. It’s not the last supper. If it’s truly ghastly, drink less (which is not going to do any of us any harm).
Nice idea for the hosts…
You’ve probably got a few bottles planned for the night and guests will also bring some. This could be more than you need. Do not give the wine back, (rude and vulgar).
Write the givers’ name on the label, along with the date. Later, ask these friends over and say, “Come to eat with us. I'd like to drink that bottle of wine you brought.”