Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
It was my turn to host the book club at my house. We always have drinks and dessert when we get together monthly. I like wine, and feel like I know a good wine as much as the next person. I do not claim to be a wine expert or anything, but know enough not to embarrass myself. I am good friends with some of the ladies in my book club, and others I only see when we get together for book club. The last time that I hosted, some of the ladies that I am not great friends with told me that I serve “cheap” wine, and that I should really “step it up.” I was more insulted than embarrassed, because I know what I paid for each bottle, and it was not “cheap.” I just laughed it off, and told them I would “do better” next time. How do you respond to something like that?
Not a Cheap-O!
Dear Not a Cheap-O,
It is your house, your party, and these ladies should be grateful that you are serving them anything. If you served $1.00 per bottle wine, it would be rude for them to comment. Ask most wine “experts,” and they will tell you that a good wine is one that you love. If you ever have done a wine taste test with a group, more times than not a less expensive wine is the favorite. My husband and I are very into wine, but when we have a party with a random group of people, we do not serve expensive wine. We save what we consider “expensive” wine for special occasions, or for groups of our friends who are also very into wine. A book club would be the last place that I would worry about the cost of the wine that I was serving. I think you handled it well by laughing it off. If you would have told them what they deserved to be told, it would have been a very awkward moment and evening.