Why don't they open my wine?

CATHY GOWDIE
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013
wine
Getty Images
WHINE TIME: If someone brings a bottle of good wine to your house, should you open it there and then?

Relevant offers

Food & Wine

Celebrity chefs share childhood dishes and cooking with Mum Here's how to make a 'neverending' supply of chocolate... but prepare to be disappointed Four Kiwi chefs announced as Pacific semi-finalists in 2016 Young Chef Awards Recipe: Bolognaise-style mushroom ragu Could meatballs made in a lab really taste like the real thing? Japan's KitKat game taken to a whole new cheesy level Wine industry forecasts growth in plantings Kiwi chef owns best restaurant in Australia Marlborough wine family honours 102-year-old matriarch with Saint Clair Dawn 2012 Marlborough wine company Jackson Estate turns earth on long-awaited winery

Every summer, we are invited to the lavish home of wealthy relatives for a long lunch. Every year, they serve mediocre wine. If we bring something good, they never open it. What can we do?

I sometimes wonder if there might be an inverse relationship between the amounts of money certain people spend on cars and what they spend on wine. I'm talking about the individuals - we know who they are - who drive fancy but whose fridges at home are stacked with sub-$10 whites. Can they not detect quality unless it comes with a German automobile manufacturer's badge attached?

Do their car repayments leave them too skint to drink anything better? We may never know. Anyway, I'm off-topic. The bottom line is, they're the hosts, you're the guests, and there's no polite way of forcing them to pour what you've brought. Odds are you'll have to swallow what you're served, or - if the plonk is truly terrible - feign an ailment that has placed you temporarily on the wagon.

You may adopt the time-honoured tactic of bringing pre-opened bottles of red on the grounds that ''they needed to breathe for a few hours''. This ruse won't work for whites: you're pretty much stuck with dropping the hint inherent in bringing a bottle already chilled.

As a last resort, you could say you brought the wine for other lunch guests to try (''I know Jane and John have been waiting for the new vintage of the Stringbag Estate chardonnay, I thought I'd bring it along for them - shall we crack it now?''). Of course, that will depend on whether you know anyone else present well enough to cook up a convincing story.

Whatever you do, never take anything too special if you know it might go unopened - you risk being embittered as well as thirsty, and you'll only have yourself to blame.

Remember that line about not being able to choose your relatives, and save the good stuff for your friends.

- Good Food

Ad Feedback

Comments

Recipe search

Special offers
Opinion poll

How does a strong cup of coffee make you feel?

More alert and awake

Jittery, anxious

It gives me an upset tummy

I feel no effect

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Laura Faire Cookbook Promotion