Drinking wine? You’ve been doing it wrong.

We have recently been to Italy and were told that pouring a glass of wine overhand – e.g. with your hand holding the bottle from underneath and tipping the wine out into the glass – is considered extremely bad manners in some parts of the country (it’s OK – I was just pouring a glass for The Boy and he couldn’t care less…) and it got me to wondering if there is other wine lore and etiquette around the world that we should all be aware of.

Since it’s October too, that means it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s have a look at what pink things are out there to help us with our wine and also to make sure that the 5000 people who will get diagnosed with breast cancer this month will get even more help and support on the 25th Anniversary of the pink ribbon campaign!


If you happen to find yourself at a Chinese dinner and are honoured with a toast, you should return the favour and propose a toast to your host in return. However, you shouldn’t fill your own glass, but the glasses of people more senior to you (how you judge that is anyone’s guess if  you ask me) – and you should fill it right to the brim. Maybe break out the shot glasses for the vino in that case.

It’s probably not considered good etiquette to drink wine out of a mug, but when it’s this cute design which is exclusive to the Breast Cancer Care Shop then I think it’s totally acceptable. Any Twitter addicts out there are sure to love this as a gift too! All proceeds from this shop are spent supporting people affected by Breast Cancer. And you can pretend that you’re drinking tea.


Filling your glass more than halfway is considered a sign of poor manners and poor attitude. Little and often is the key here. Sip slowly, and when toasting, make sure your arm doesn’t cross anyone else.

Avina have got into the swing of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by releasing a limited edition pink design of their easy grip swan corkscrew. It comes in a presentation case with a leak-proof wine stopper and of course each sale they make will lead to a donation to Breast Cancer Charities!


While many Indonesians are Muslim and therefore do not drink, this is not universally true. This nation is rightly proud of its hospitality, therefore you should never refuse an offer of food or drink, but yet you should never completely finish what you are given. Conversely, in Bolivia, you should finish everything you are given.

I’m not sure how it relates to wine really, but I really like the pink tools released by Sealey for the campaign. Especially this pink welding helment. I really want to learn to weld. But anyway, perhaps you want to use all of your old wine bottles or corks to make something cool for your house and so they have a lot of different ranges of tools available, from screwdriver sets to trolley jacks and they split the proceeds evenly between Breast Cancer Now and Prostate Cancer UK so everybody wins.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

One thought on “Drinking wine? You’ve been doing it wrong.

  • What an interesting post! This is something I’d have never thought of, that there’s different etiquette for wine drinking in different parts of the world. This makes me feel even happier that I’m not much of a wine drinker, I’ve only ever drank it to get drunk, in my teenage years. I’d be destined to mess this up everywhere I went ha ha. I’m now hoping that the same doesn’t apply to gin!

    Davis | http://www.everythingstartswithtea.co.uk


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