Wine Etiquette Tips to Master

Practice Makes Perfect

When you are not in the privacy of your own home, chugging glass after glass of wine like there’s no tomorrow, you might want to practice some basic wine etiquette in public spaces. You don’t need to know a whole lot about how to converse in wine lingo or know the exact origin of the vino with just one taste, but you’ll look pretty cool if you know how to pour wine, hold your glass and drink the sweet nectar of the gods with style. Whether you are hosting a dinner party with friends, caught up in a business cocktail party or on a romantic wine tasting excursion, simple wine etiquette will come in handy. 


©Roger de la Harpe

Here are 5 essential wine etiquette tips that you can easily master:

Know your glasses.
It’s not a super common fact, but white and red wines should be served in different wine glasses. White wine belongs in a smaller, narrower glass than red wine, as it does not need as much breathing space as reds do. A smaller glass also keeps the white wine cooler, which is key.

Pour it up.
Pouring wine is not rocket science - you open it and let it all out. But, there is a fancy way to do it! Hold the bottle towards the base and when pouring, and ensure that the front label is on show to whomever you are pouring for. You can be a little more heavy-handed with white wine than red, as the bowl is smaller. 

Tasting notes.
Tasting wine is about more than just identifying the hints of pencil shavings on the nose. To truly identify and get a feel for a wine, take small sips and keep it on your tongue for a few seconds, coating it in the liquid. You will immediately get a more accurate flavour profile of the vino, and you’ll be able to identify characters such as acidity, tannins, mouthfeel and aftertaste.

Pace yourself. 
A classy business dinner is not the place to overindulge. Sure, the wine will make the conversation flow, but you do not want to have an awkward situation where you are stumbling to the bathroom...So, to avoid that, be sure to snack in between glasses. Alcohol gets absorbed into the blood quite quickly, and it won’t take long for you to feel it. Drinking water simultaneously will also help. 

Be generous.
If you are hosting a dinner, it’s best to pour equal amounts of wine into each guest’s glass. Before you pour a second glass, be sure to ask if anyone else wants first. It’s just manners.

By Carla Lottering