The Worst Wine Mistakes Not to Make: Wine Etiquette

The Social Wine EtiquetteYou can watch the full wine video here.

The hosts of CTV’s The Social love their wine. We shared a few good glasses together as well as some laughs on wine etiquette — how to avaoid being low-classy with wine ;)

You can also read my story on The Grapes of Gaffe.

Find out the answers to these “pressing” wine questions:

How do I hold a wine glass, by the stem or the bowl?

Hold your glass by stem—otherwise your hands will warm the bowl and the wine, and leave unsightly fingerprints. Your wine glass should never be poured more than a third full.

Pour the wine to no more than one-third level of the glass. This will give you room to swirl your glass in order to appreciate the aromas.

What about stemless wine glasses?

Stemless glasses are trendy and it’s usually not a problem when you’re drinking red wine as your hands will warm the wine and make the aromas more airborne.

They do pose a problem with white wines, however, because you don’t want to warm a white wine.

As well, stemless glasses do create the impression that there’s been a finger-painting party at the end of the meal with all those fingerprints covering them.

What happens if I bring an expensive bottle of wine to a friend’s house and they serve me plonk?

If you want to drink your wine, make it obvious by calling ahead to ask your host which wines you can contribute to complement what is being served for dinner.

Of course, if you know that they’re the people who consistently open their own stock, don’t bother bringing a bottle you want to drink.

How do I handle being offered my friend’s awful homemade wine?

You could grit your teeth and say it’s unlike anything you’ve tasted.

As a last resort, you can drink up, recognizing the act as a testament to your friendship.

What if I want to bring my own bottle of wine to a restaurant?

Call ahead to see if customers can bring their own stock. Some refuse, while others permit it only on special occasions, particularly since much of the meal’s profit may be in the wine’s price.

There may be a corkage fee, but that’s usually small change compared to ordering the same wine from the restaurant list.

Make sure you tip well, as though you bought the wine your brought from the restaurant’s wine list.

What do I say to a cranky sommelier when the wine is bad?

For some sommeliers, a simple explanation of “I think this bottle is a bit off” will suffice; for others you must be ready to do verbal hand-to-hand combat.

If I’m attending a dinner party and I’m enjoying my wine a little faster than the host, can I help myself and refill my glass, or do I need to wait for the host?

If the dinner party is informal and you have a close relationship with your friends, then go for it.

If you’re in a more formal setting, wait for the host, though you can make it more obvious that you’ve run out of wine by lifting your empty glass and almost drinking then saying “Oh my goodness, that was good!”

I know that a wine’s bouquet is nearly as important as its taste. Let’s say I’m in a restaurant and all I can smell of perfume from the woman sitting next to me?

Short of diluting the woman’s essence with your table water, there aren’t many options in this situation.

You could put up with it, but strong smells ruin a fine wine since most of its nuances are in its bouquet.

Your best bet is to ask to be seated elsewhere in the restaurant.

Here’s the wine etiquette video. Posted with permission of CTV.

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