Over the past few years, my wife and I have become wine snobs and regularly drink $40-to-$50 bottles. Our problem is when we go to friends' homes or any party. We stand out because we bring our own stemware and people are always curious about what we are drinking. Our bottles are hard to protect in a sea of lower-end wines and we stand out as unfriendly if we do not share. How do you handle this?
Have you ever thought that the reason you "stand out as unfriendly" is that you are unfriendly?
When you bring wine to a party, your wine becomes the party's wine. That's why a party is called a "party" instead of a "drinking at home alone." For events that don't involve a meal, the solution is simple: A good wine-shop consultant will happily find you amazing bottles for $15 – bottles that you'd struggle to differentiate from the $50 stuff. Bring three of those and open two (one should be given to the host as a gift). Now you have enough to drink and enough to share and it cost you the same. If it's a dinner party, the cook might already have wines selected for the meal; be sure to ask in advance. As for the fancy glassware, leave it at home, bub. Nobody brings their own stems to a party without looking like a total jerk.