My friends are under the impression that they can just drop by unannounced. How can I appropriately host them while seeming like I appreciate their unexpected company?


I never feel like more of a genius than when I “just happen” to have wine in the fridge for a drop-by, even though as I’m opening and pouring that wine I cannot believe that a friend has shown up without warning, especially considering all my true friends know that all I like to do at night is silently watch Sopranos reruns in my bathrobe.  

Still, a good way to turn around the occasion is to stock up on something light and breezy enough to trick these guests into believing they are welcome, but not so rich and comforting that they’re tempted to drift off on your couch and stay the night. Try a lunch wine like a Pinot Grigio, or a Raboso. The Raboso varietal has a high level of tannin—meaning it has good structure. This provides you with a passive aggressive subtext too, as good structure is what makes for good friendships. As in: next time they should call ahead of time and not ruin your expectation of half-nude television watching.


Modello’s advice columnist Kathryn Borel is the author of Corked: A Memoir