Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear. Dr. Vinny,
I often bring my own (expensive) wine to dinner at restaurants and pay the corkage fee if applicable. My wife thinks that when we're dining with others, we're obligated to share the wine we brought, but I disagree. What does the doctor say?
—Brett, Winter Garden, Fla.
I’m siding with your wife. Sharing is a central part of social interaction. By not sharing, there’s really no way around the rudeness of the message you are sending, which is that your friends are not worth the price of the bottle of wine to you. If I were on the other side of the table, I'd probably feel awkward and uncomfortable about being left out, if not offended.
If you plan to do this again, you could give your friends a heads up and say you think the meal could be an opportunity for you both to bring out special bottles of wines from both of your cellars. But honestly, I would never bring a bottle of wine to dinner that I wasn't intending to share.