Wine Etiquette Do’ and Dont’s

Wine etiquette has the purpose of making wine drinking an enjoyable experience. Pairing wine with food is very important. The right wine has the ability to enhance the flavor and enjoyment of a meal. Wine etiquette suggests that red wines be served with red meats like mutton or beef. White wines are served with white meat like fish, chicken or pork. When dining at a restaurant it is often not possible to order one bottle of wine to pair with all the different meal options. It may then be best to order wine by glass.

There is no need to feel like a fool when ordering wine. Wine etiquette allows for the host to ask the guests if they have a suggestion or preference he could order. When still in doubt, ask the sommelier or wine stewards for advice – they are wine etiquette specialists.

Wine etiquette suggests that the host be offered a taste of the wine of choice before it is poured for the rest of the table. The purpose of this is to ensure that the wine is not spoiled by oxidation or sulfur. It is not an opportunity to send back a perfectly good bottle of wine. It is acceptable wine etiquette to ask for a second opinion when in doubt about the quality of a wine. Someone else at the table or the sommelier can be of assistance by means of tasting.

When someone does not want wine it is etiquette to hold one’s hand over the glass to indicate this to the staff. Wine should be poured clockwise from the right, ladies first and the host last. Glasses should never be empty and the host can pour for his guests in the absence of the wait-staff. Red wine is poured in smaller glasses with broad rims and white wine in glasses with narrow rims. In older wines refrain from pouring the last half a glass of wine from the bottle – it normally has unwanted sedimentation in. This will not be seen as wasteful but rather proper wine etiquette.