Assume, for the sake of this discussion, that it the dinner in question is NOT a potluck; that the only attendees are me and my immediate family and you and your date; that I have neither asked nor forbidden you to bring any dish or beverage, and in fact haven’t mentioned it at all; and that you actually want to come because you like my cooking.
Under such circumstances, do you bring a dessert? A bottle of wine? Anything at all?
Also consider the converse. You’ve invited me and my wife to a sit-down dinner with you and your immediate family. Would you be offended if I brought a dessert or wine?
It depends. If the invitation came in the form of a text or mentioned in passing, I’d ask what I should bring and expect you to tell me if I’m tasked with apps, drinks, dessert or nothing. If the invitation arrived in the mail or was a phonecall specifically for the purposes of extending the invitation, I’d bring a bottle of wine as host gift unless I knew you were not a drinker in which case I’d bring chocolates or a jarred cake or waffle mix or something along those lines.
If I invited you, I would expect nothing but would appreciate whatever you chose to bring and especially if it were a wine, be gauche and open it then and there for everyone to share.
Yes. We usually bring a small gift and a bottle of something. Most people I know would do the same, though I’m sure you’ll get a bunch of responses that think it just the batshit craziest thing they’ve ever heard in their lives. Everybody is different.
If the answer is “nothing”, I’d still bring a bottle of wine or two, but not necessarily expect it to be opened that night. It’s a host gift kind of thing. In my experience, however, it’s almost always opened that night. This might be a local thing; people pretty much always bring something to drink to get-togethers.
I would not bring any food item without clearing it with the host first. There’s just too much cause for duplicates or something that flat out didn’t work.
The converse: I wouldn’t be offended, but I’d hope you’d mention any food items that were intended to be consumed with the meal, simply to avoid duplicates or other mishaps.
A bottle of wine, with the intent being for you to drink it at some other time, as I have no idea what you’re planning on cooking so can’t pick the perfect wine for it. I wouldn’t expect you to bring anything to my place if I was cooking, and I wouldn’t be insulted either way.
We would probably bring a dessert wine, like a Constantia or an Ice wine, with no expectation that you would serve it with that meal. If you brought a dessert we would have no problem in serving it, and the same with the wine unless you told us that it was not intended for that night’s consumption.
I’d bring that old standby, a bottle of wine (intended for consumption by you at some later time), unless I’d know you don’t drink alcohol (flowers for your lady, in that case) or I’d know something else more suitable for you.
I’d ask about bringing food and if told no, I wouldn’t bring anything.
I suspect a dinner party has been planned top to bottom and it’d be weird for me to inject a drink or dessert on the plan. And of course someone else is going to think it’s totally cool for them to inject themselves into the plan so why make it even more crowded?
I might bring wine if you drink wine but I don’t drink wine, and I know people can be picky about wine so…
When I invite people for dinner, I do not expect them to work for it, nor pay for it. On top of that, even though I eat at non-kosher restaurants, and non-kosher houses, I keep a kosher kitchen, so unless you do as well, bringing something to my table is a problem for me. I don’t have a set of treyf dishes for when someone brings something of unknown origin to the table.
All I want (and don’t always get) is a “thank you” note in the next few days.
Spoilered for the TL;DR crowd.[spoiler]Last year I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a long, long time. We exchanged contact info and he invited us over for dinner. I brought a gift wrapped box and wouldn’t tell my gf what was in it.
After dinner we were sitting around drinking wine and smoking weed, and his wife asked if they could open the mystery box. It contained a nasty porn DVD. He immediately started laughing, calling me a motherfcking-ccksucking-sonofabitch, while tears ran down his face. His wife was initially puzzled, but then had an epiphany and came over and started mock-strangling me. My gf was clueless.
Eighteen years earlier I had attended their wedding. I got them a nice wedding gift, but I also wrapped a horribly nasty porn VHS tape and placed it on the gift table as well. The porn was the hit of the reception. The older relatives were astonished, but took it in good fun. The relatives all were blaming each other. Nobody owned up to giving the “gift”, and the wrapping paper didn’t match any of the other gifts. After 18 years I owned up to it.[/spoiler]