Welcome wine gift? What about under age guests?

So we’ve been giving guests a simple bottle of wine as a welcome gift. All of our guests so far have been clearly over 21. However, I am not sure about the guests checking in today. Would it be rude to ask their age? Or do I just not give the wine? I want to be consistent with guests but certainly don’t want to give someone alcohol who is not of age.

If you’re unsure, ask their age. It’s a lovely gesture.

If you’re unsure of a guest’s age, and feel uncomfortable asking, perhaps substituting the wine for a box of chocolates might be appropriate? I’m sure it would be received just as well.

Thanks! I really like that idea. Thank you!

Perhaps it’s shortsighted to assume everyone drinks alcohol…


I keep beer in the refrigerator for guests. If the guests are young, I ask if they are over 21. I explain that it is illegal for me to give them alcohol if they are under 21 and I’m not their parent. Nobody has been offended. Mostly they’ve been amused.

Anecdotally, I leave a posh bottle of apple juice for underage guests, instead of wine. The last time I did this, I found an almost empty bottle of vodka in the freezer when they left :slight_smile:


In fact, for some people, alcohol is a terrible addiction and putting the wine in the room could be a very bad thing for them.

What about a few nice chocolates in a little crystal dish? No age requirement, relapsed addicts, spilled wine or broken glasses to be worried about.


We offer wine and cheese/crackers to arriving guests. People go nuts over it.

We’ve also had a few politely decline, but they seemed to appreciate the hospitality.

My life advice is that it is a lovely gesture, and your guests should decide whether it is a good idea/appropriate/legal for them to drink. My actual advice is that you should check your local/state laws to make sure you’re not crossing any lines, and base your decision on that.

1 Like

Though I am in France and only a few kilometers from Champagne, I don’t leave wine for guests, it just too complicated (red, white, dry or sweet, fruity or “woody”, sparkling or still, organic or not…) and for the price of a good wine bottle (€8-€10 where I am) you can offer many other goodies to your guests.

I leave soft drinks, Evian, Perrier, locally made candies… And the biggest hit is a small colouring book for each child. Another host in my condo complex gives butter croissants and many guests mention it in their review. Unless you’re in a region where wine is traditionally made I am not sure a bottle of wine makes much sense.


We has a bottle of “medium” red wine for each guest, unless we can tell they don’t drink alcohol (woman wearing a chador for example); then we have a nice fancy bottle of water or juice for them. No one is forcing a guest to drink, we assume everyone is a responsible adult. I wouldn’t take a booking from someone who looked to be under 21 in their photo.

I, too, found the wine gift a dilemma… so, I decided to get new guests Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolates… Suite Retreat… meet Sweet Retreat! :slight_smile: It’s all about marketing!


Sugar is just as addictive as alcohol to many. Addicts need to learn to do what it takes to keep themselves away from the substances to which they are addicted. They cannot expect to live in a world where they will never encounter the substance they crave.


I have been avoiding chocolate, donuts, baked good, wine, etc. for the last 5 weeks. Summer is only 6 weeks away!!

1 Like

You get a ton of mileage out of biscotti! Hey whatever works. :smiley:

1 Like

You have to have coffee to dip biscotti in. Costco was giving away samples and I bit into one and it was way too hard. Maybe biscotti is an acquired taste?

I have lots of young guests, and don’t usually ask their age unless we end up hanging out during their stay. What I like to do to welcome my guests is get each person a giant cookie from a Chicago native business (that’s where I’m located), along with some free maps I picked up at the train station. Sometimes people don’t touch the cookies, other times people rave about them. Either way, it saves me the discomfort of asking their age, or if they drink…which could be a very sensitive subject for some people. I often have guests that don’t consume alcohol because of their religion, or because they are recovering alcoholics, so I think including a nice little gift from a local place is a lovely gesture. The cookies are only $1.30 each, and that definitely plays into my ability to do it. I’d recommend finding a local treat that’s affordable and good for everyone, that also doesn’t break the bank. :slight_smile:

Traditionally biscotti is dipped in amaretto or sherry I think.

Actually they are traditionally dipped in Vin Santo which is a sweet dessert wine.


For the first month of hosting I gave a jar of the local winery gourmet fruit compote. Didn’t want to get into the issue of alcohol. It was also cheaper without looking cheap, 3 for $15. Wrapped in a bag and colourful tissue from the dollar store it was well received, mentioned in reviews.