Wine Etiquette Tips for Formal Occasions

Etiquette is something that seem useless but can be a powerful tool, especially when there is an audience you’ve got to entertain. No one likes being around some one who lacks the most basic of mannerisms. Etiquette is how you separate yourself from a 3 year-old toddler.

So while you might consider yourself to be all poised and composed, all hell breaks loose when it time for the wine. Yes, the little tipsy feeling can hit you all of a sudden, but on formal occasions, such as business dinners and meetings, you need to keep a dignified composure. If all this talking is making you nervous, here are a few educational tips that will uplift your wine manners:

Picking the Right Wine

The right wine will get the evening going. Therefore, your first priority should be to:

Let your guests pick the wine

The first and foremost rule of any wine dining is, to let the guest order. Once the call for wine comes in, pass on the list to your guest and let them choose the wine of their choice. In case you are worried about them choosing the most expensive one on the list, don’t stress it for even they won’t do so, for the sake of gaining a reputation for stepping over generosity.

If your guests can’t seem to make a decision, then:

Call in for a sommelier’s suggestion

Not only will they serve you right, but they will tell you which one would blend perfectly with your food. A good sommelier will have the wine list on the tip of their tongues, therefore you will be presented with a variety to choose from. In case you want to hint the server about your price range, be sure to quote in your boundaries vaguely by pointing at the list and using phrases like “something of this sort”. They will get your hint and play that game.

And if nothing seems to work, then:

Stick with the classics

The reds like Pinot Noir and Syrah and the whites like Chardonnay and Riesling are classics. These wines will always save your formal evening, as the pair remarkably well with a wide array of dishes.

Serve chilled wine. Get a dual zone wine fridge for storing different wines at different temperatures.

Acknowledging the Right Manners

Now this includes everything- from serving to drinking and even clinking the glasses together. For starters, here are some tips you need to be a pro at:

Always serve wine in suitable glasses, preferably ones with a stem and base. The right way to hold the wine glass is  by its stem and before you take your first sip, be sure to clink the glasses politely so that you don’t spill or break the glass.

Never over-fill the wine glass to the top, keeping it below the half mark. Always sip the glass from the same point to avoid marks and lastly, try to keep your portion of drinking in accordance with other people. You don’t need to hog on the wine and then pass out drunk.

Wrapping up the Evening

Even if there is some extra wine in your glass and everyone is leaving their glasses, you have got to let it go to waste as well. It is considered indecent and gives a cheapskate impression in the fine dining world. If a sommelier assisted you the whole time and their performance has been nothing less than perfection, then be sure to tip in 10-20% of the wine’s value.

Wine has a status in the fine dining world, therefore be sure to honor it the right way.