opening a wine bottle at the dining table

Opening A Wine Bottle: 10 Etiquette Rules

who this class is for

Restaurant guests, waiters and restaurant staff

Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

About this micro-class

Opening a wine bottle with finesse and grace is an art that enhances the dining experience for our guests.

Etiquette for Opening a Wine Bottle

1. Presentation and Approach

Approach the table with confidence, bearing the wine bottle with the label facing the guest. This allows them to verify the selection.

Greet the guests with a warm smile, and inquire if they would like you to proceed with opening the chosen bottle.

2. Confirm the Wine

Repeat the name of the wine and vintage as a final confirmation. This ensures accuracy and demonstrates your attention to detail.

3. Tools of the Trade

Utilize a proper wine key with a serrated knife. Ensure it is in pristine condition.

4. Holding the Wine Bottle

Grasp the bottle at its base, near the punt (the dimple at the bottom). This provides stability and control during pouring.

Avoid holding the bottle by the neck, as this can leave unsightly fingerprints and compromise the temperature of the wine.

5. Cutting the Foil

Carefully cut the foil just below the lip of the bottle, ensuring the top is cleanly exposed.

The goal is to avoid any contact between the wine and the foil during pouring.

6. Positioning the Wine Key

Place the corkscrew at the center of the cork, ensuring it is straight and perpendicular to the bottle. This minimizes the risk of cork breakage.

7. Opening the Bottle

With gentle and controlled force, insert the worm of the corkscrew into the center of the cork.

Twist the corkscrew until only one curl of the worm remains visible.

8. Extracting the Cork

Employ smooth and steady upward pressure on the corkscrew handle to extract the cork.

Be mindful not to rush, as a slow and controlled motion is crucial.

Remember to twist the bottle, not the cork, to avoid tearing.

9. Checking the Cork

It is customary to discreetly examine the cork before presenting it to the guest.

Look for any signs of seepage, mold, or other irregularities. While rare, these could indicate potential issues with the wine.

Do not sniff the cork yourself. A simple acknowledgment of the cork’s quality is sufficient.

10. Presenting the Cork

Upon successful extraction, present the cork to the guest on a small plate, showcasing its condition. This tradition adds a touch of ceremony to the experience.

Do not dwell on the examination; a brief moment for inspection is sufficient.

While presenting the cork, you may mention the vintage and winery, reinforcing the authenticity of the wine.

Always handle the cork with care, as it may hold sentimental value for certain patrons.

Test your knowledge with a quick test and earn a free micro-certificate

Shop for etiquette, behavioral, and contextual signs

related micro-classes