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Etiquette question: Wine for every course?

Filed under Entertaining, Etiquette, Guest Bloggers

Serving wine for every course of a formal dinner

This week I’d like to welcome guest blogger Tynan Szvetecz to answer this pairing etiquette question recently sent to me. Mr. Szvetecz is an executive sommelier and master candidate at the International Wine Guild.

Dear Charles,

I’m hosting a formal dinner and I would love your advice on how many wines to serve. I was planning on serving wine with the main course only, but a friend told me to serve wine with every course. What would you advise?

Thanks!

Lucy Agopian


Dear Ms. Agopian

Thank you for asking! While in the end it is up to you, as the host, your friend is correct in stating that it is customary to serve wine with every course. I assume that you’ll be serving a four to five course meal, and if that’s the case it is perfectly acceptable to serve an appropriately paired wine for each course.

However, if you’re planning on serving a 38 course meal, like this one, then you definitely won’t want to pair for each individual course! My personal preference is to usually serve a maximum of four wines, for these courses: appetizer, soup or salad, main course, and dessert.

For help on how to pair wine and food, I highly recommend this wine pairing book.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Tynan Szvetecz

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