Etiquette & superstition: pouring wine

memphiswinespill
Well, down in New Orleans where everything’s fine, all them cats is sippin’ that wine. Drinkin’ that mess is sure delight, soon to be fightin’ and fussin’ all night. Whine, whine, whine.

ETIQUETTE: Unless you are at my home, wine glasses should be filled about two-thirds full. According to our old friend Millicent Fenwick from Vogue’s Book of Etiquette, this is done so the glass is “full enough not to look niggardly, not so full as to spill easily.” The solution in my home is to fill the glass up to the rim, but serve it in a highball glass. Highball glasses don’t easily tip over. Millicent goes on to note that very fine wines are frequently only poured up to the halfway mark of the wineglass. This is another thing we don’t have to worry about in our home.

To make sure that wine does not fall on the table or dribble down the side of the bottle, you may want to employ a slight twisting motion when you are finishing the pour.

SUPERSTITION: It’s good luck for someone to spill wine on you. Really. Well, not in Rome. It’s really bad luck in Rome. If you are in Rome and you spill some wine, put some of it behind your ears and everything will be okay. If you aren’t in Rome, congratulations! Also, if someone spills salt and it falls in your direction, you are going to have bad luck until someone pours wine into your lap. Congratulations!

Photo of Beale Street Wine Race (which is in Memphis, not New Orleans) by ilovememphis on Flickr

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