Wine Etiquette: What’s the Deal?


We all know the image of a classic wine snob.  They open the bottle just so, pour it just right into the perfect glass, allow it to sit for a moment, then they take a sniff, swirl the glass, take another sniff, take a small sip, then a bigger sip, then pretend to take a sip as if they believe that their glass has been poisoned, then they swirl the glass again, then they return the glass to the bottle, shake the bottle around, sniff it, pour it back into the glass, and take one last sip before wincing and pouring the whole bottle down the sink.

    Or that’s what it might look like to one unfamiliar with wine etiquette and overwhelmed by the various rules of the trade. Wine has been a staple of social gatherings for millennia, and over the years wine etiquette has grown and changed, with some elements sticking and others fading into history. For example, the Ancient Greeks customarily watered down their wine, and were scandalized when the barbarian Gauls drank theirs straight. Thankfully, history sided with the Gauls.

Wine Etiquette says: Hold from the stem, not the bowl!

    One of the first things you learn in Wine Etiquette school (which is real i promise don’t look it up) is to always hold your wine glass by the stem. This rule can be waived for glasses without stems, but any time a stem is present, wine etiquette demands that your grip be on it! This is a holdover from a time before dishwashers were common and fingerprints were hard to wash out of a glass. We have the means now to wash unsightly prints from wine  glasses, but it’s still considered polite to hold  from the stem.

Always clink correctly!

    For all my engineering nerds out there, this one’s for you. Wine glasses are made, of course, of glass, and glass is easily broken. The great authors of wine etiquette know this, and in their infinite wisdom have devised a way to minimize shattered receptacles when clinking glasses for a toast. Simply clink at the widest spot of the bowl, and the strength of the shape will minimize any potential disasters. Thank you, wine etiquette!

Sniff your wine!

    That’s right, giving your wine a sniff before sipping isn’t just something people do to look fancy. Our sense of taste is intrinsically tied to our sense of smell, so taking a good whiff of your wine before taking a drink is an excellent way to awaken your senses to the complex flavors that await you. See, wine etiquette isn’t all about meaningless rules! It’s also about getting the maximum enjoyment out of your wine.

If you’re looking for a bottle to practice your new wine etiquette skills on, look no further than our online store!

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