Visiting France? Know these wine drinking Etiquettes

There is a famous saying that “When in Rome, does as the Romans do.” While we are not talking about Roman’ culture here, French aren’t much behind on cultural etiquettes and judge you a lot on how you behave in their environment.

So next time you plan to visit France and decide to have wine with them, do keep these 7 things in mind if you don’t want to be perceived as someone with bad manners:

Don’t rush

One of the habits of the French is to wait before starting any meal. They sip their wine once all glasses are full and once the toast has been made in case there is one.

So don’t hurry and make sure you wait till all the guests and the hosts have their glasses poured in front of them, then you start.


In France, it is a tradition to clink your wine glass with other people’s glass before taking a sip of it. Also while you are clinking your glass with someone, make sure you look into their eyes and not the glass. French find it rude if you are not looking into each other’s eyes while doing this thing.

Another thing to pay attention to would be to not cross your arms over someone else’s while trying to clink your glass. Wait for other people to be done before trying to clink your glass with someone sitting in front of you.

Let the men serve

In France, the host serves wine to everyone and Frenchmen are supposed to fill glasses for their women. In case of an all-women table, anyone willing to take charge can do the serving but if you’re the man you’ve got to do it. In a restaurant, wait for the waiter to serve you because if you go ahead and serve yourself, it may indicate that the waiter isn’t doing his job properly.

Let it breath

Once the wine is poured in your glass, don’t just drain it down in one go. Taste it slowly and enjoy it. In France, wine is a kind of religion and so if you don’t like the wine at someone’s place, don’t complain. It is rude to complain about host’s wine choice.

But if you like the taste of wine, you can murmur a vote of approval and pass on a satisfied grin to everyone.

Having wine without a meal

People don’t drink wine in France just at any random time. Wine is associated with food in France and so if you are having just wine without any food to accompany it, people would deduce in a second that you are a tourist.

Although French won’t be shocked to see someone drink wine in the evening it is not a tradition there to drink wine before dinner. So next time you see someone drinking wine at 3 p.m., you know he is not from France after all.

Don’t bring wine to a party

French consider it rude if you bring a wine bottle to a party you have been invited to. It portrays that you don’t trust the host to get a nice choice of wine which might seem quite offensive to the host.

It would be better to ask host’s prior permission while planning to get the wine so that you know what wine would be better with their dinner menu. But seriously don’t get wine without permission; chances are that wine would remain unopened because you insulted the host.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *