So you’ve got guests coming over for dinner, the food has been carefully picked, selection and cooked, but which wine do you serve? Sounds like a simple problem with a simple solution but when you think about it in depth it’s not always that easy.

Take these scenarios…

The guests that are invited are aware that you’re a bit of a wine buff and are therefore, understandably a little confused or worried as to what to bring as a wine gift.

If they bring a bottle which is relatively expensive then they would obviously wish to enjoy this with the meal. However, if the host does indeed know there stuff, then they would already have selected a wine to match the food and would probably have decanted it a few hours beforehand. This therefore leaves the guests gift either surplus to requirements or to be drunk, without the decanting it deserved, meaning that it would not be as enjoyable as it probably should have been.

If your guests were to bring along a wine that is cheap or just doesn’t go with the food there will be a sense of embarrassment for them in knowing that ‘their’ wine would probably be put to one side to be used in the next family Spaghetti Bolognese! There will also probably be a small sense of guilt from them knowing that they are drinking some very nice wine offered by you whereas the wine they brought along was not really good enough to drink alongside it.

If your guests know a lot about wine and you don’t, then the roles are entirely reversed with the awkward decisions and situations again arising.

From the hosts point of view the easiest solution to the ‘what to serve’ problem really depends on how well he knows who is coming to dinner. If they are great friends and regular dinner partners then there really isn’t a question to answer as he would already know their tastes in wine and the level of quality that would be expected or acceptable. Similarly the guests would also know what type and quality of wines would be welcomed so everything is far easier with no awkward moments.

I can fully understand that the host does not want to open one of his prize wines if he knows that his guests are either not going to appreciate how good it is (so why waste it) or totally do realise how good it is but have reciprocated with a bottle of poor quality (and have probably done so before!!).

The easy way out if you feel that guests are going to unduly worry about which wines to bring is to say, don’t bother, leave the wine to me and if you wish to bring a dinner gift then some chocolates or a plant or anything else you fancy would be very well received, thank you!!