1. Good wine, poured early, and often.
2. Sneak fresh spices into your dinner napkin and when no one is looking, sprinkle them over white, cheese and butter-laden food.
3. Offer to bring the hors d'oeuvres. Make it tapas.
4. Fill up on olives and goat cheese.
5. Offer to bring the dessert. Make it more wine.
Photo: Red: You can't go wrong with this Rhone:
La Mandragore Saint Joseph 1999. About $21
White: Chateau D'Orschwihr Riesling, 2006.