The Rules When Buying a Bottle of Wine for a Dinner Party

When it comes to etiquette for dinner parties, one thing everyone can agree on is that it’s customary for guests to bring a bottle of wine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s consumed during dinner or not, it shows the guests that you are appreciative of all of the time and effort they put into preparing the meal.

However, for people who aren’t accustomed to bringing wine to a party, there are a few tips and tricks as well as rules when it comes to choosing the wine and how much you should buy.

With the help of this guide, you’ll be well prepared for your upcoming dinner party so that you bring the perfect gift every time.

1. It Should Always Be a Gift

First and foremost, anyone who brings a bottle of wine to a dinner party should know that the wine they are giving should be a gift. It should never be looked at as a beverage that you’re going to consume throughout the night, as you never know if the host already invested their own money into a bottle of wine. Regardless, your gift is something that shows your appreciation for the work that goes into a dinner party, because as we all know, hosting an event for even four people can be overwhelming.

With this mindset, you should never pressure the host to open the bottle of wine that you brought because you don’t know if they’d prefer to save it for a different occasion or if they already have wine prepared for the guests.

2. Spend a Reasonable Amount

You can guarantee that the vast majority of your friends won’t be able to tell the difference between a $13 and $20 bottle of wine and with that being said, we recommend buying a bottle that falls between $10 and $20, depending on the occasion. For a regular dinner party that your friends host on a weekly basis, you can aim for less money, whereas if it’s a special dinner party to celebrate something such as a promotion, aim for the higher end of the spectrum.

wine gift

Deciding how much you spend on a bottle is all up to your personal finances and what you would deem acceptable based on the food that is being served. If you’re doing a fast food movie night, the cheaper the wine, the better, whereas if the host is cooking a full three-course meal, a more expensive bottle would be the ideal gift.

3. Know How Much to Bring

The third rule of choosing a bottle of wine for a dinner party is knowing how much you’re going to need to buy, and the easiest way to do this is to use an online wine calculator. These online tools are great for determining how many glasses you’ll get out of a single bottle and what the recommended bottle count is based on the number of guests that are going to be at the party. However, all of this is dependent on what you feel comfortable with and how close you are to the host.

If you’re going to a best friend’s dinner party and you know they don’t have the money to buy wine, you can always bring more than one bottle to help make the evening flow more easily. Or, if you’ve been assigned the duty of buying alcohol as your party contribution, you should expect to have to buy more than one bottle. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re just a guest you can bring one to two bottles, but never more than that as you won’t want to show up at the party with a case full of wine under the assumption that the host didn’t buy enough wine on their own.

4. Bringing Two Bottles May Be Necessary

wine basket

If you and your partner have both been invited to a dinner party, you’re going to need to think about bringing more than one bottle no matter whether the guest is a big wine drinker or not. The main idea behind bringing a gift to a dinner party is that each person is presenting something to the hosts, and as such, you’re going to need to bring at least two bottles of wine. You’re also going to want to make sure that they’re different types of wine to resemble two separate gifts, for example, one bottle of red and one bottle of dessert wine.

5. Know What Type of Wine to Bring

Just as important as the other rules on this list, you’ll need to have a good idea of what type of wine to bring depending on how you think it will be consumed. Although you should always purchase the wine as a gift for the host, there’s a high probability that your wine will be used during the dinner and as such, you’ll want to know what’s being served. For example, if you’re enjoying a fish dinner opting for a white wine is preferable and with red meats, a red wine would be ideal.

types of wine

If you don’t know what you’re going to be having for dinner, you can always choose a popular wine that is loved by people around the world. The vast majority of liquor stores will have a section for the top-rated wines from different countries and you can choose one based on price and the appeal of the label. Another great idea is to buy the host’s favorite wine, as that will always be a clear winner in terms of a gift.

With the Right Wine, You’ll Always Be Invited

Remember, by using these rules for giving wine at a dinner party, you can guarantee that you’ll be invited to absolutely every event and all of the guests will surely appreciate the time you put into choosing the perfect bottle. There are hundreds of different types and brands of wine, giving you more than enough options when it comes to finding the ideal alcoholic beverage to go with a phenomenal dinner party.

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