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The question

How do I make sure the expensive wine I bring for a hostess to stash away for herself does not get uncorked and mindlessly guzzled by a horde of party guests?

The answer

Do we know each other? Because I believe you and I go to the same sorts of parties. I’m kidding about having met you, but the scenario you cite is not unfamiliar to me and, and I’m sure, to many readers. Yours might be the case where the hostess herself is liable to uncork and generously offer your Château Chichi to the group. Or it might be that your bottle is in danger of getting lost in the BYOB shuffle at a large fête only to be intercepted by a tipsy guest who believes it to be nothing more grand than a $12 malbec, a bottle of which you also brought for the sake of the crowd.

It is, of course, the hostess’s prerogative to serve or not to serve, assuming you manage to get the bottle into her hands in the first place. But to you it might still feel like a bummer – a cellar-worthy gem gone in the blink of an eye, and much before its time. Worst of all, if it’s a big shindig of 50 or 60 guests, a single bottle won’t go far, especially when dispensed into large red plastic beer cups from Dollarama.

There’s nothing wrong with making your intentions blatant. This means going beyond simply verbally telling the hostess you’ve brought her something for her cellar to be opened at some future anniversary or birthday. Before you arrive, label that bottle as conspicuously as you can. A greeting card affixed with tape is insufficient; like hats and matching scarves, the two have a way of losing each other at parties. Better it would be to securely affix a neck tag, either with string or a rubber band. You can be lighthearted with the note, too. For example: “Do NOT Open Tonight. Like Jacob Tremblay, This Wine Is Too Young To Drink.”

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear in the Wine & Spirits newsletter and on The Globe and Mail website.

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