Guest etiquette: Wine glasses

Compulsive question:

Your good friends from the neighborhood invite you over for casual dinner before a concert.

They know you are a wine geek and they ask you to bring over some “extra nice” bottles of wine to have with their thoughtfully prepared meal. They are good cooks.

The problem is that you know their stemware is mediocre. Not jelly jars but thick-lipped glasses you might see at a catered university lunch.

So the annoying wine snob voice starts ringing in your head:

Do I bring so-so wines because the glasses will diminish their enjoyment, at least mine!

Do I bring good wines as requested and just let it go and just enjoy the wines for what they are — even in less than ideal stems?

Do I bring along 6 stems as well at the risk of looking like complete snob and offending the sensibilities of our hosts?

Do I, god forbid, bring my own stem and make a few self-deprecating jokes about my OCD tendencies when it comes to my “hobby”? [swoon.gif]

Do I just bring a six-pack of Pliny the Elder instead?

Discuss amongst yourselves! [cheers.gif] [cheers.gif]

Would gifting them some glasses that would be a big upgrade from what they have now be too much?

If they’re good cooks, they appreciate good equipment, right? If everyone is friends and they’re asking you to bring your A game, bring the stems.


I would bring nice but not 1st growth level wines and would absolutely not bring my own wine glass. I would do that at a restaurant, but not at someone’s house.

For example, based on what I have on hand now, I would bring something like a Lopez de Heredia Riserva. ~$40, definitely an “extra nice” bottle for wine geeks and normal people alike.

I’ve done that.

Bring whatever you want to drink . Case closed .


Normally, I would say no, but if they are asking you for the wines, then that changes things. But gifting is an even better idea…


You can also say, “We find that having thin glass stemware improves the taste of the wine for some reason. Try it for yourself.” If it’s done right, I don’t think it has to seem like a put-down.

I would gift some of those riedel stems from the recent baby sales.

I wouldn’t gift them glasses. But I might give them some.


And I wouldn’t bring my own glasses. Seriously. If you didn’t like their silverware because the fork tines weren’t pointy enough, would you bring your own silverware? Or china? Unless they’re having a lot of people over and they let you know that it might be a good idea to bring some glassware, taking your own glasses to someone’s house is what makes wine people look like douches.

Here’s the scenario: First thing to do is take their glass, pour some wine into it and then take your glass and pour some wine into it and ask them to tell you which wine tastes like ass. Sit back triumphantly as they tell you how much they hate the wine when tasted from their own thick, clumsy, inelegant glassware. And let them use their own inferior glasses while you enjoy the wine from your superior glass.

There’s no way you come out looking good. It’s not even intriguingly eccentric, it’s just crass. Don’t do it.

I like the idea of gifting them glasses. If they are good cooks it will lead to more dinner invitations and make the wines you bring that much more enjoyable. The Reidel stems from best buy would be perfect. And GregT always brings a glass when he comes over to my place


Greg, I would normally agree with you but I think since he was asked to bring nice wine, and they are into food, it would not be out of place in this situation. If the request was just to “bring some wine” then I would agree it would be inappropriate to bring your own stems.

Ian - only required if you go to David’s house! Everyone else here will have decent stems!

I agree. They asked you to bring good wine, so they left the door open. Bring nice stems, but be sure to take them home with you.

[wow.gif] [scratch.gif]

Why not be generous? If you take them home, then it seems snotty and condescending.

Absolutely a no to bringing glasses.

Good answer I think, Bruce
Matthew, you mentioned your OCD and the list of alternatives that you are considering confirms your self-diagnosis. The host has asked you to bring the wine. Bruce is offering you a simple and wise solution to end the second-guessing of possibly problematic alternatives. Bring whatever you want to drink. Pour them into whatever glasses the hosts offer. Enjoy the food, the wine, and the friendship.

P.S. I also have OCD tendencies.

This a million times. Go to Costco and get the 8 pack Bordeaux stems. Cheap and good and they have good glasses going forward.