The Great Wine Caper

Wine bottles. (File photo)
Wine bottles. (File photo)

Dear Joel,

  My husband and I are friends with a wine-loving couple who enjoy dining at BYOB restaurants. We get together approximately once a month, alternating who selects the restaurant. In the beginning, we’d each bring a bottle of wine, but after a few times of running out before dinner was over, we started bringing a second bottle just in case. Our friends continue to bring one bottle and on multiple occasions, have brought a half-full bottle knowing that we had more than enough for the table. We are not cheap and have no problem sharing, but it’s getting ridiculous since we almost always open the third bottle. If we don’t bring the extra bottle and they finish theirs, they will ask to share ours and how can we say no?

Do you have any suggestions on how to approach this tactfully?


  Obviously, your friends appreciate your generosity, and they are either taking advantage of it or are completely oblivious. The next time you have plans to dine at a BYOB, I would suggest whoever selects the restaurant is ‘in charge’ of bringing the second bottle of wine. Or, just the opposite, the couple who doesn’t select the restaurant brings the extra bottle. Of course, there would have to an initial conversation, but it should be simple and easy to say, “I have an idea…”.  Once you’ve established a pattern there shouldn’t be any further issue. Perhaps switching it up once and a while to a restaurant with a liquor license wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Joel Markel

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