The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat grapes. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest.

red grapes

What grape etiquette is

Grape etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat grapes. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow grape etiquette to serve grapes to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect grapes’ etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy them.

What you should know about grapes

Grape is a fruit. It commonly grows in clusters. Many varieties exist. The color of their skin varies from light green to dark red or purple.

In general, grapes are sweet in flavor. Sometimes with an acidic or slightly sour note. Their texture is juicy. They commonly contain a few small seeds.

How To Serve And Eat grapes

Etiquette tips to serve and eat grapes

1) How to store grapes

It is best to store grapes in the fridge. They can last for 1 to 2 weeks. The ideal storing temperature is around 0°C (32°F), with high humidity. Do not wash grapes before storing them.

You can freeze grapes. In the freezer, they will last for about 6 months.

Outside the fridge, grapes last for 2 or 3 days. If you take them out of the fridge, it is best to eat them the same day.

2) How to clean grapes

Grapes are exposed to pesticides. Wash them thoroughly.

Place grapes into a bowl with water and vinegar. Alternatively, in water and salt or baking soda. Let them rest for about 10 minutes. Then, wash grapes under fresh running water. You can let them dry on a kitchen cloth.

3) How to prepare grapes

Grapes are usually eaten fresh. You can use them in salads or fruit salads. Add them to yogurt or use them as decoration for desserts. Squeeze them to make juice. Or use them to make jams.

4) How to serve & present grapes

Serve grapes for breakfast, a snack, or in a fruit course after a meal. Grapes are a perfect accompaniment for cheese platters.

Serve grapes whole. Present them washed and in a fruit bowl. It is best to leave the bunches of grapes intact. 

Even if you wash grapes before serving, it is good etiquette to present a small bowl of water to wash them again at the table.

Serve grapes juice in a jug. 

5) Foods and beverages to serve grapes with

You can use grapes in salads as you would with cherry tomatoes. Pair them with arugula, onion, or cured meat.

Grapes pair well with fruit and nuts in fruit salads. Apple, pear, raspberry, and strawberry. Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, and walnuts.

Grapes can pair well with cheese. However, the tannin in the grapes’ skin can spoil the flavor of some cheese. Common pairings are with strong cheeses. Taleggio. Parmigiano or Grana. Gorgonzola. Asiago, Gruyére, or Cheddar.

6) How to eat grapes

Eat grapes one grape at a time. Eat them with your fingers.

If grapes are served on a shared plate, remove a whole bunch or a section of a large bunch from the shared plate. Place it on your plate and eat from it. Do not pick single grapes from the shared plate.  

Try to swallow the kernels instead of spitting them. If you cannot, spit kernels in your hand. Use your other hand to cover your mouth. Avoid making noise, facial expressions, and moving your head. Place the kernels close together on a side of your plate or in a dedicated small cup if available. Do not fiddle with pips while in your mouth or once on the plate.

grapes etiquette mistakes

Grape etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst grape etiquette mistakes. 

  • 8/10. Spitting kernels in a visible way.
  • 8/10. Serving spoiled grapes.
  • 8/10. Serving unwashed grapes.
  • 7/10. Serving unripe grapes.
  • 6/10. Putting more than one grape in your mouth at a time.

Additional information for properly serving grapes

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

Grapes contain about 67 calories per 100 grams. On average, a single grape contains 2 calories. One individual serving is between 20 and 30 grapes. It contains between 40 and 60 calories.

How to buy the best grapes

A crucial factor in grape etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

The season for grapes is between August and October.

Choose the best

Ripe grapes should feel firm and without soft spots. They should feel heavier than they look.

Alternatives to grapes

A substitute for grapes is the cherry tomato.