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20-40-60 Etiquette: It's best not to whine about the wine

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QUESTION: I was at dinner at a friend’s home. The host offered a white wine with the meal. I only like red wine. Would it have been proper for me to ask for another kind of wine?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: The white wine was probably being prepared with what the host was serving for dinner. Next time, bring a bottle of your favorite red wine to share with the host.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I would only ask for the red wine if it were offered. You can just say “no, thank you” when offered the white. After that, the host may then offer other choices, and at that point you can accept, but I imagine the wine was paired with the meal.

HELEN’S ANSWER: The host plans the menu and the wine choices and sometimes spends lots of time creating the menu and getting wines that blend well with what they are serving. It is wise and courteous to stick with their choices or just say “no, thank you.” If they ask if you would prefer something else to drink, then you can state your choice, but if they don’t ask, water is always good.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Kathy Walker, community leader: Well, would you ask for a different menu at your friend’s home? Depending on the formality of the occasion, I would assume that it would be somewhat insulting to ask for a different wine. Possibly the wine was chosen by the host to pair exactly with the menu. Just say no thank you when asked whether you would like to be poured a glass of white wine.

If you are invited to a less formal affair such as an outdoor barbeque or casual gathering of friends, you might offer to take a couple of bottles of wine to contribute to the dinner party. In addition, you can always take a bottle of red wine as a hostess gift. If your hosts run out of white, they might open the red!

Remember that the best wines are the ones we drink together!

Since 2009 Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth, 40-plus and Helen, 60-plus.

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