Now, I’m not pointing out the obvious here (promise). My student budget and I are quite well aware of the fact that el vino can set you back a few bob – looking at you Bordeaux. But in this case, I’m not referring to the (empty) pocket situation, but rather the form. ‘Manners maketh man’ according to Colin Firth and his spy cohort, and when it comes to wine there is undeniably an etiquette that goes with it. However, what I’m quickly coming to realize having now spent 4 months in France and 4 in Italy, is that said etiquette is not remotely uniform. It’s not exactly a secret that the Brits don’t go hand in hand with the European status quo – there so very many options for a poor Brexit joke to be inserted here, so I’ll leave that up to your imagination – but with regards to wine, considering they didn’t even make the stuff until recent years, they seemingly put the wine-wise Europeans to shame in the Pouring Stakes.
Or do they? Etiquette, after all, stems from culture and the society that culture includes, so it’s little wonder that it varies from country to country. Now, if I were to break it down from life experience it would go something like this…
Let’s start with what we’re used to:
So is there a right or wrong when it comes to wine etiquette, or is it really just a question of falling in line with the rest of your nation? Personally I think it should come down to what works for you. Some like taking it steady (given that the majority of people reading this blog will be either English or Austrian, I realize this is a foreign concept for you, but yes, it does happen). Admittedly I’m more partial to having a well-attended glass, but given that my DNA is 50/50 English/Austrian perhaps the life of the reserved and constrained was never really going to work for me.
On the topic of etiquette, I should probably also mention that there’s a whole host of Do’s and Don’ts in terms of how to pour wine/how to chill wine/how to hold a glass etc etc, the list is in equal measures endless and boring, so I’m going to save you the trouble of reading about it, and me the trouble writing about it. What I will bestow on you all is this *Top tip* (sounds official that way no?): hold a wine glass by it’s stem, not by the ‘bowl bit’– keeping your grubby mitts in the right place not only means that your wine will stay fresher without the influence of heat, but also that you’ll look like you have a semblance of an idea of what you’re talking about…which is always nice.
Happy wining all, I hope the summer rosé is flowing well,