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How to defeat (and how to become) “the bottle hogger”


Do you know a bottle hogger? Maybe you’ve actually been one. Maybe you’re being one right this very minute, clutching a bottle of Cabernet to your chest like it’s a small adorable endangered tiger cub. You, my friend, just might be a bottle hogger.

What’s a bottle hogger? The name pretty much says it all: it’s the person who either brings a really good bottle of wine to a party and guards it like he’s chaperoning his teen daughter on her first date, OR it’s the person who simply notices there’s a great bottle of wine at the party and does her very best to consume all of it despite everything she learned about sharing in kindergarten.

So yeah, basically being a Bottle Hogger is being the arch villain in a movie about wine and friendship. On the other hand, being a bottle hogger also means you get to enjoy the most of the best wine. Which is why we’re giving you advice on how to identify and ultimately vanquish the bottle hogger, AND how to become an expert, covert bottle hogger. Because, yeah, wine is kind of delicious…

To defeat the bottle hogger…

To defeat the bottle hogger, first you must identify them. And they are wiley bastards (see below). Notice anyone hovering around the bar? Did anyone very vocally exclaim about the quality of a particular bottle of wine, and then get really weirdly quiet? “Oh my god, you have a bottle of Chateau Howard [not a real wine] from 1997? I mean, not that that was an incredible vintage or anything…” It’s the person who couldn’t contain his or her enthusiasm, but realizing quickly what a find that Chateau Howard is [still not a real wine] he/she hushes up and slowly puts the bottle back down…in the corner, away from public view.

A bottle hogger won’t pour him/herself a giant glass of the bottle they choose to hog. Instead, they’ll pour themselves just a little bit, carefully dosing it when people aren’t looking. Keep an eye on bottle levels and notice if anyone is making repeat trips to the bar. There are several ways you can interrupt these repeat visits, but your best bet is actually simple interaction. Basically, you’ll wanna stick like glue to the bottle hogger. Become his or her best friend. If necessary, fall in love with the bottle hogger (assuming his/her bottle hogging-tendencies don’t turn you off). Just do anything to be all up in their bidness, making it harder for them to retreat to the bar and/or bottle hog directly in front of you. “Oh, you’re pouring some wine? Yeah, I’ll take some of that!” To a bottle hogger, those words are a nightmare.

Of course, the ultimate way to defeat the bottle hogger is to beat him at his own game…

To become the bottle hogger

Welcome to the dark side, my friend. You know the value of a good bottle of wine. And you have absolutely no intention of sharing that gift. Instead, your entire goal is consumption. Selfish, Ayn Rand style personal interest lubricated by that great bottle of Burgundy that nobody else is currently drinking, or will ever drink, if it’s up to you. But how to keep the spoils all to yourself? It’s actually devilishly simple.

First, yeah, lie. Never answer truthfully about what’s in your glass. “Becky, what are you drinking?” “Oh this? It’s just some Welch’s I dosed with a little bit of vodka and Listerine. I’m not really a wine person, you know?” Then, as your friend realizes they’re playing her favorite Lumineers song and goes over to the speaker to shout poorly along with it, you pour yourself a little bit more “grape juice” from the bottle so cleverly tucked in the back of the bar.

Never be seen. Well, no, be seen, otherwise you’ll probably scare the shit out of people since total invisibility at a party probably involves hiding under the coats on the bed. But never be seen when you go get a drink. In fact, never be seen with the bottle. Misdirection is your best friend when you want to guzzle greedily without attracting attention. Wait until everyone starts playing Cards against Humanity or toasting the newlyweds/newly divorced/new dog. Maybe the late night pizza has arrived. Maybe everyone just heard that Brad and Angelina broke up (it could happen). Whatever it is, wait until there’s some decent hubbub to retreat to the bar area, or wherever you spirited away your prize bottle.

No distractions available? Shout something like “You know, that Trump guy has some pretty good ideas!” and let the distractions erupt around you as you quietly duck away and pour some more delicious wine. In fact, things have probably gone a bit wild by now, so just chug it down. You’re a Bottle Hogger now. Own it.



By Emily Bell, VinePair