A dining scene from Last Holiday, a 2006 comedy with Queen Latifah, caught my attention recently as I was channel surfing. Watching people dine in formal restaurants can provide good stories for my etiquette seminars—think Pretty Woman and escargot flying across the room.
This fun movie was no exception. During the meal a diner put his hand over his glass to signal that he didn’t want any more wine--just as the waiter poured the wine onto his hand!
Listed below is the way to avoid a wet hand, plus additional suggestions to feel more comfortable with wine:
1. Avoid gesturing. If you don’t want any more wine, simply say “No, thank you” to the waiter.
2. Learn about wine. If you are the host, you are in charge of the wine selection. You can defer to your guests, but then you may end up with a $300 bottle of wine that was not in your budget. There are many books and websites with lots of information about wine. You can also take a class at an adult school or wine store.
3. Use my acronym LaCEST™ to help you remember the wine-tasting steps:
• La stands for Label. The wine steward will show you the label from your bottle. You look at the label and nod approval that you have received the wine you ordered.
• C stands for Cork. The wine steward opens the bottle and places the cork on the table. Check the cork. The cork shouldn’t be dry and crumbly.
• E stands for Examine. The wine steward pours a small amount of wine into your glass. Examine the appearance of the wine. Check the color and clarity.
• S stands for Swirl/Smell. Gently swirl the wine to release the aroma and then take a sniff. If you like what you smell, chances are that it will be a good bottle.
• T stands for Taste. Take a sip and nod approval. You only reject wine if there is a problem with the wine. You don’t send back wine if it is not to your liking. Your guests’ glasses are filled first, and then yours.
Please send me your favorite movie dining mishaps. I would love to add yours to my growing list.