Whiskey, cognac, vodka, gin, tequila – these are the most commonly consumed liquors in the Philippines. It’s not hard to come by a good bottle of these as they’re readily available at convenience stores, supermarkets, and similar establishments. Anyone of legal age can buy one and enjoy a swig anytime they want – as long as it’s outside of school and work hours.
These are most commonly served at fancy and luxurious restaurants where people celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. Others find that they’re more enjoyable when shared with friends and/or family, so liquor is often present during special functions and get-togethers. Most, however, love to drink a glass or two at the comfort of their own homes.
On top of being free to do what they want while drinking, there’s also no need to follow proper etiquette rules. They can pour it in a glass, drink it straight from the bottle, and chug it down – literally whatever they want. While that’s fine and all, a time may come when you’ll be forced to drink outside the privacy of your home and follow proper etiquette. Since there’s a different set of rules for each type of liquor, we’ll first start with wine and lay down certain wine etiquette that you should know about:
Use the Right Glass
There’re three main types of wines – red, white and sparkling – and each of them needs to be poured in a specific type of glass.
Red wines should be served in large wine glasses that have fuller and rounder bowls and large openings. The size of the glass’ bowl will allow people to slightly dip their noses into the glass and get a whiff of the wine’s aroma. It also helps the wine come in contact with more air which will elevate its taste.
White wines should then be poured into glasses that have a U-shaped bowl that is relatively thinner, taller, and more upright than the ones used for red wines. These glasses allow the wine to maintain its temperature and release its aromas.
Finally, sparkling wine. A sparkling wine glass is the thinnest and tallest of all. It is also the most upright and it was made this way so that the sparkling wine can retain its carbonation.
Serve it at the Right Temperature
Temperature can completely alter the chemistry and taste of wine, so it must be stored and served at the right ones. There isn’t a set rule for this and some wines may have different variations but we’ll list down the generally accepted temperatures for the three main types of wine from warmest to coldest.
Red wine should be maintained at around 13 to 20 degrees Celsius, white wine at 9 to 14 degrees Celsius, and sparkling is served the coldest at 6 to 10 degrees Celsius. If you don’t have any tool to measure the temperature of the wine, then simply keep in mind that it only takes 10 minutes in an average refrigerator for a botte to reach 2 degrees Celsius.
Properly Pour the Wine
There are only two right ways to pour wine and which one you need to use will depend on the kind of wine you are having. If it’s one that has bubbles and sparkles, then you’d want to preserve this carbonation and protect its bubbles by pouring it down the side of the glass. If the wine is still or devoid of those bubbles, then pour it down the center carefully.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is the amount – when do you stop? The rule is to fill a glass two-thirds or halfway through and never more. The two-thirds rule is more common for white and sparkling wines, while the halfway rule is usually applicable for red wines where you need room for swirling. If it’s a wine sampling event, then pour even less so as to not drown in liquor.
Drink it with Class
You know have a fine glass of wine sitting in front of you, what do you do now? Simple. Grab the glass by the stem – never the bowl – very close to the base. Swirl it lightly and elegantly to release its aroma and bring it about a centimeter away from the bottom of your nose. A quick sniff should be enough to entice you to take a sip, so go ahead and do so. Take a small sip and savor the flavor. Don’t gulp it down as that would prevent you from really tasting the wine. And that’s that.
Consume the wine by sips until you empty it out and then call for someone to pour you a new glass or pour yourself one.
Naturally, you won’t have to follow these etiquette rules when you’re drinking wine or any liquor in the Philippines in the privacy of your home. But you will have to employ them when you’re out and in public eye. It may seem unnecessary but it is a really powerful tool that separates you from ill-mannered individuals. You might even impress someone with your knowledge on wine etiquette and that’s always a good thing!