Gauche or kosher: BYO to a charity dinner?

Attended a benefit dinner for a nonprofit charitable organization. Dinner was included with the ticket, drinks were available for purchase. All alcohol is donated, so proceeds from drinks go to the charity.
Live and silent auctions ongoing to benefit the charity as well.
I noticed a couple of tables where the attendees had brought in their own wine. This seemed a bit odd to me. I did ask the opinion of a friend who was attending.
My opinion: Drink sales are part of the fundraising, and proceeds benefit the charity. BYO seems cheap and inappropriate.
His opinion: Attendees already gave money by buying the ticket. If BYO gives them enjoyment, who cares? Maybe that feel-good spirit translates into more auction bidding, i.e. more money to the charity, as well.

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I wouldn’t even have known it was an option but would have done so without hesitation if I was told it was ok.

I know that in many of these occasions, folks do bring their own special wines to enjoy and share. Oftentimes, the wines that are donated are not that good - and in many cases, the wines are simply what the hotel has to offer.

If it was the first time attending, and I knew nothing of this, I would probably reach out to the organizers to ask if it was okay to do this. And your last comment is quite spot on - the more folks drink, the more they bid things up :grin:



Both opinions may be valid, and if your closing comment is borne out in reality, then all is good. If not, then a sensible/modest BYO charge/donation may be the answer. Perhaps they did offer up a donation out of sight.

I’ve done this before without asking, and it made me the hero of the table. The wine that’s usually (almost always) served at the events is fairly mundane to me, and usually not a variety I like, so when I can, I bring two bottles. Maybe it’s gauche, but there are greater offenses in life, IMHO.


I’m 100% positive this did not happen.

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…meaning you would have asked. I’m 99.9% certain this did not happen in this case.

Maybe it’s gaucher?



The wine bringer is likely to spend the same total amount benefiting the charity with the BYO or not.

I don’t think anybody goes to these trying to get by on the cheap. Why be there?

We have often donated wine to an auction and brought the same wine to drink; the auction winner gets a glass to celebrate without having to open his/her/their bottle.


And maybe donated 10000 dollars ie not looking to save dollars

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Buy a cocktail at the bar. Save the wine for the other 364 days a year


It ‘s a fundraiser. Leave your BYOB at home.
Or bring your bottle, hand it to the barkeep, and then buy it back.

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Personally, I’d have no issue doing so if I was told by the organisers I could BYO. I’d basically treat it like a ‘corkage fee’ and add in a nicely sized donation per bottle. Win-win for everyone in my book.


does gauche mean douchey? if so yes.

No way would I do that. It’s one evening for charity, I think I can manage one night without fine wine. Or, drink some champagne before (and/or, after).

Without understanding the charity event more I am on the fence. Typical black tie gala style charity event… no way. Ducks Unlimited charity dinner, you are on the outside if you don’t bring a rare whisky and cigars of your own to share.

Set and setting make all the difference.


[Reported] :wink:

Seriously though, if the wine (or beer etc.) is simply not something to our taste, and we’d not enjoy it, definitely seek out an alternative. There’s something faintly uncomfortable about the concept of drinking alcohol that we don’t enjoy, but doing so because it’s alcohol (and perhaps expected of us).

Agreed. I could have completed my thought by saying get a cocktail or just don’t drink for the night. Isn’t it uncomfortable that we “have” to have wine :slight_smile:

Again only because it’s a charity event it just seems odd to BYO

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There are times where I wish I brought my own bottle and times I’m glad I didn’t. The setup the OP described sounds like the former.

I don’t drink wine 365, but when I do…

And about one cocktail, max two is about enough for me

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