Q: What's a good hostess gift to bring to a party?
A: All depends on what kind of party you've been invited to and how well you know your hostess. Parties can vary from a formal sit-down dinner to a casual backyard soiree. Regardless, it's always in good taste to bring something with you, not to mention, it's expected, even though your hostess may instruct you not to bring anything.
We think food-centered gifts are always best, especially ones that wow, evoke a sense of discovery and flatter the hostess. Mind you, these gifts don't have to be expensive, they just need to be gracious and thoughtful. Here are a few debatable options:
Take something made by YOU- Honestly, a few gifts summon a heart-felt thanks like your own artisanal handiwork, be it your rabbit pâté, edamame dip or chocolate ganache. Yes, it may be toil and trouble, but it speaks volumes about you and how much you appreciate your hostess.
Say cheers with a bubbly- Yes, it may seem like a last minute grab, but a well-picked Champagne or Prosecco is sure to put everyone in a festive mood. Taking a chilled (Read: ready to drink) bottle will entice your hostess to actually open it! Another refreshing option for party-friendly bubbly is artisanal hard cider. It's crisp, dry and sparkling and can be served all the way through the dessert course.
Pair with a playful bottle of wine- Wine can be tricky, especially if the other guests had the same idea. Your hostess may not remember you brought the pricey Pinot and there's a good chance your bottle will not be opened. If you decide to take wine, bring something light, playful and not so trendy. A good option is Vinho Verde, a fruity Portuguese young wine that complements just about any finger food, charcuterie board and/or cheese course.
Celebrate with artisanal foods- These include, but are not limited to, cheese, salumi, pâté, preserves, tapenades, bread and chocolate. The idea here is to hand-pick foods made from the heart. Food made by people, not companies. If you know the brand personally, and can share the story, that's even better. It's a great way to introduce your hostess (and the other guests) to something new, incomparably delicious and intimate.
HAPPY . GIFTING .