Modern Hosting Realities: The Wine Service

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Modern Hosting Realities: The Wine Service, the three tomatoesTraditional etiquette says that when at a meal table, the server will maintain your wine service. In high-end restaurants, this is true, for the most part. But at less formal restaurants, waiting for the waiter to fill your glass may be a frustrating experience. So, instead of wondering whether you should wait or go ahead and pour yourself, follow these guidelines:

As the Host

  • If your wine glass or one of your guests’ glasses is empty, take the liberty to pour the wine. You have now assumed that role for the course of the meal.

If There’s Plenty of Wine in the Bottle

  • Don’t just generously fill the glasses. An appropriate wine pour is about 3 oz. This will make the wine more enjoyable, while governing consumption.

If There are Many Guests Partaking in Wine

  • Be mindful of how much is left in the bottle and how many at the table need topping off. Then pour accordingly. I’ve even seen pros inadvertently pour heavy on the first couple of glasses when the bottle is meant to serve 8, leaving the host with just the tiniest sip.

When Pouring

  • Be conscious not to make bottle contact with the glass rims. It would be clumsy and unappetizing, not to mention unsanitary.

For a Clean Pour

  • Mitigate drips by skillfully twisting the bottle as you lift the neck away from the glass. It’s a good idea to practice this move at home first.

When a Bottle of Chilled Wine is Empty

  • I BEG you NOT to shove it upside down into the ice bucket! This totally tacky move will give an impression you might not want to give.

Deborah Goldstein is the founder of the Women’s Advancement Compact, a community driven to support the health, well-being & success potential of NYC professionals. Deborah is also the founder of Goldie’s Table Matters, providing education and entertainment to both corporate and private clients nationwide.


  • If you love wines you’ll get tips on the art of selecting and drinking wines, what goes with what, and wine recommendations too.

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