Essential Wine Etiquette

December 16, 2021

Wine etiquette is re-emerging for holiday festivities and New Year gatherings after dormancy during the pandemic. Although wine is still often enjoyed at home, knowing how to implement best wine practices in public is important during both business and personal enjoyment. Here’s a few essential wine tips to sharpen your etiquette:



  • Utilize the 5 S’s of wine (see, swirl, smell, sip, savor) & think about each wine

These essential reminders allow you to thoroughly enjoy the event’s offerings and have discussion points, as well as pairing notes

  • Know how to hold your glass – by the stem or by the base

Refrain altering the ideal temperature of wine by holding glass appropriately

  • Manage mouth marks on glasses (especially with holiday lipstick)

Where you choose to take your first sip, use the same place while enjoying

  • Table placement matters

Your wine glass will go to the right of your water glass once seated

  • Pick the perfect pour

More room allows glass to be swirled, wine to open and exhibit flavors. Host should pour glasses one-third full for reds, one-half full for whites and three-fourths full for sparkling wines


  • Pour intently, holding bottle near the base – offer to guests first, pour with label facing outward

Using the base provides more stability as well as less room for bottle slips and spillage. Twist while ending your pour to reduce unexpected drips

  • Similar to table manners, enjoy portions at speeds similar to those around you

Make sure all have had a chance to try the available wine offerings

  • Cheers! Clink glasses at the bowl to reduce breakage, noise disruptions and germs

This time-aged tradition is paired best with well wishes and good eye contact

  • The host is responsible for filling glasses

Unless it is a unique situation, the host and hostesses should notice when a drink can use a fill


If you are the host…

Make wines approachable! Answer questions, go with the flow and try to stock your stash with wines your guests might enjoy

If you are the guest…

Enjoy what you like. Try new wines. Don’t partake if you do not enjoy. Best way to know is to experience and ask questions


Cheers from Missouri Wines this holiday season! Try gifting your host a Missouri wine at a dinner gathering, purchasing one for an easy, thoughtful gift or even opening a Missouri sparkling in celebration of the New Year. Share your celebrations with us on social by tagging @missouriwine or #mowine.


Printer Friendly

Get Our Newsletter

Our bimonthly newsletter contains exciting information on upcoming events in wine country, tasty recipes to recreate at home and even occasional giveaways.


Request A Winery Guide

Use our guide to plan your next adventure in wine country. It contains a listing of Missouri wineries, map and key information to expand your wine knowledge.

I would like to receive your newsletter and other promotions