2016 has just started and you have probably made several propositions for the New Year. For many, engaging in a more intense social life is a goal; and, indeed, let’s say that socializing is a good way to relax, increase your array of interests (from theatre to bridge, passing through flamenco lessons), encounter new people and do some business-oriented networking – not to mention more lascivious purposes!

However, “drinking and mingling” is often an important part of social life. Are you sure you abide to the best social Wine etiquette? Last year The Telegraph published the results of a poll among 2,000 UK adults made by the International Wine Challenge: the research had found out wide-spread blunders such as adding lemonade to red wine and pronouncing the 't' in Merlot and Pinot Noir.

We do not want to imagine how some people pronounce Prosecco Valdobbiadene, one of the best varieties of Italian sparkling wine.

Social wine etiquette is not a strict science, but there are common-sense rules you should already be aware of when you enjoy a glass of wine, alone or in public. Today we are focusing more on drinking at parties and on how the host should serve wine.

  1. Uncork the wine with a fast and quiet movement, without making too much noise;
  2. Decant the wine properly, according to its nature: red wine usually needs more time, but it also depends from the age of the specific wine;
  3. Taste all wine before serving to make sure that it is not corked or spoiled;
  4. Serve the wine at the right temperature: store red winein the fridge is still considered quite an heresy;
  5. Offer wine to those around you first: how awful if you rush to fill your goblet – somebody may even think you are quite an addictive person; women should be served first, then men;
  6. Restrain from serving wine in tumblers; a lot of literature is available, even on the net, on the right glasses to pour wine in;
  7. Fill less than half of the glass to give wine room to breathe;
  8. If the wine sparkles, pour it down the side of the glass to protect the bubbles; when it is a still nectar, pour it in the center of the glass in order to enable the bouquet to rise through the glass;
  9. Try not to drink (much) faster than your social companions: it does not look elegant when you have already finished your glass of Ciliegiolo and all the others are still halfway through their own glass;
  10. When toasting, clink glasses bell to bell and look your companion in the eyes.

How many of these rules do you already follow?

If fewer than 8 out of 10, you should probably practice more the art of drinking socially in order to improve your etiquette!

Enjoying wine is made of small gestures, sharing the experience with friends, sipping it slowly. Hence, social wine etiquette is not only a matter of form; it is mostly a tool to enhance the wonderful experience of drinking together with other people.

Next time, we will be focusing on wine etiquette in restaurants...that’s all for now: Libiamo!