View previous topic | View next topic

Etiquette - 'Excuse my French'

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

Izzardesque
146236.  Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:49 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
So chocs say "here are some lovely chocs" but wine says "I'm richer than you, and I have better taste".


Not necessarily. I think it says "I have chosen this as I think its something you would like. Do with it what you will". Thats certainly what I think when I take wine to a friend's house.

 
dr.bob
146468.  Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:33 am Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:
Why is it that at organised meals such as wedding receptions, the waiter always keeps the label of the wine bottle hidden?


Because the hotel will invariably be palming you off with some cheap plonk to boost their profit margins.

When I was a penniless student I did some summer work as a silver-service waiter. I worked for an agency that used to bus us in to boost the normal staff for big events like a wedding.

One wedding I worked at was at a nice country club outside Manchester. I was quite impressed when I noticed the wine bottles all had fancy labels with the name of the club on them and a nice design, making them look very posh. However, at the end of the evening when we'd finished our work and were waiting to be picked up and taken back into town, the head of the waiting staff said we could help ourselves to any of the wine that was left over. I promptly pulled a nearly empty bottle out of the nearest cooler. Naturally, by this time, all the ice had melted so the bottle had just been sitting in water for a while. As I poured out some wine, I noticed the label was coming loose, so I pulled it off.

Underneath this nice, fancy, posh label was a very plain white label which simply bore the words:

Vin Du Table

I was a poor student who didn't care, but I wonder how the guests of the wedding would have reacted had they known.

 
Bunter
146470.  Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:39 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The difference is that flowers & chocs are peripheral extras, whereas the wine is a central component of the dinner - and also that bringing wine has this very particular origin as a custom. Was it ever done before about 1970? I'm guessing not. And was it invented by students as an explicit acknowledgement of each other's poverty? Surely yes.


The 'before 1970' remark is interesting. Wine drinking on a mass scale is a relatively new activity for the middle/lower British classes. So perhaps all of the wine drinkers pre 1970 were rich enough to always lay on loads of the stuff at their dinner parties?

 
Flash
146542.  Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:58 pm Reply with quote

I was just guessing that wine probably wasn't a common feature of undergraduate supper parties before then. Don't know why I thought that, though.

 
BondiTram
146555.  Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:13 pm Reply with quote

Despite the French custom of taking flowers (not wine, it hints of disapproval of the host's competence) we do take a bottle to English friends. However, one couple said they would discontinue the practice, not in deference to local custom, but because it was 'silly' (wine is much cheaper here than flowers or chocolate). We agreed and so it has continued for a year or so. The other evening they arrived for a meal bearing a bottle and saying a little shamefacedly 'it didn't seem right not to somehow'.
We look on it as a contribution to the meal and usually serve it second after our (excellent) choice has been consumed. We then, of course, revert to our wine for all the other bottles.

 
jaygeemack
146793.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:37 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Just finally since there was a mention above of French (ie blue) movies. Is it true that the Welsh call these "red movies"?

The Spanish word for blue is green, if you know what I mean. A dirty old man is un viejo verde

 
hugh
146847.  Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:35 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Why is it that at organised meals such as wedding receptions, the waiter always keeps the label of the wine bottle hidden?


This is probably not the reason but my Dad was a chemist and when he was at school was always taught you should have your hand over the label when pouring chemicals from a bottle so that if an ran down the outside of the bottle a) it wouldn't get on the label and b) you wouldn't get it on your hand next time you picked up the bottle...

He had a strict teacher who patrolled the lab swinging a length of rubber tubing with which to 'deal with' an transgressors. When, in later life, he saw students pouring from bottles the wrong way round he always used to get a tingling feeling at the back of his leg, waiting for the 'thwack' of the rubber tubing!

 
DrO
163279.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:50 am Reply with quote

Quote:
And was it invented by students as an explicit acknowledgement of each other's poverty? Surely yes. So chocs say "here are some lovely chocs" but wine says "I'm richer than you, and I have better taste".


I'm not really sure about the wine issue. Certainly my wife and I if we are invited to a house for a meal automatically take a bottle of wine. To not do so would be rude. As students this was entirely normal, that we have continued this tradition into postgraduate life may simply reveal our scholarly past. I admit though now we occassionally move in more high brow circles I do think our rather ineducated purchases are viewed by the guest less generously. Along the lines of 'Ah and here's the vinegar for the chips we aren't having with the meal.' But taking flowers, that's silly. As students if we had turned up with flowers we would have been greated with, 'I'll need to get a vase for them'. This would probably mean- 'I need to buy a vase tomorrow for them'.

 
Flash
163300.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:57 am Reply with quote

DrO wrote:
To not do so would be rude.


That's my point really - I think that the opposite may be the case: it's actually slightly insulting to take wine to dinner in many situations. If you went to dinner at Bill Gates' house would you take wine? I wouldn't. If I went to supper in a student's flat I would, though. So every time you take wine you're saying, in effect "I know you can't really afford to pay for this yourself" which is fine in some situations but a solecism in others.

It's analogous to tipping. You tip waiters, you don't tip doctors - there's nothing inherently wrong with tipping, but you can commit a gaffe by doing it inappropriately.

 
jblackley
163723.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:51 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
you don't tip doctors.


You don't? My God! The money I've wasted!

 
jaygeemack
163969.  Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:41 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
That's my point really - I think that the opposite may be the case: it's actually slightly insulting to take wine to dinner in many situations. If you went to dinner at Bill Gates' house would you take wine? I wouldn't. If I went to supper in a student's flat I would, though. So every time you take wine you're saying, in effect "I know you can't really afford to pay for this yourself" which is fine in some situations but a solecism in others.


It would have to be a really good bottle of wine to insult Bill Gates by implying, "I know you can't really afford to pay for this yourself"!

 
Flash
164017.  Sun Apr 08, 2007 1:17 pm Reply with quote

Exactly.

Perhaps it'd be more relevant to most people's experience to say: if you were an 18-year-old going to your epicurean grandfather's house for dinner you wouldn't take wine (I don't think), whereas when he came for the return visit to your student flat-share he probably would, if only because of an instinct for self-preservation. So, whatever the rule is, it clearly isn't an absolute one.

Which is all I'm saying, really.

 
DrO
165539.  Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:39 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
It's analogous to tipping. You tip waiters, you don't tip doctors - there's nothing inherently wrong with tipping, but you can commit a gaffe by doing it inappropriately.


Now personally I would have absolutely nothing against being tipped, the innappropriateness would be in tipping me the same sum of money as the waiter. I would surely deserve lots more, that said I would sooner a small tip than none at all.

On a much more serious note however, I don't think the wine issue is analogous at all. The wine is not a fiscal boost to pay for what one assumes has been good service, it is instead a thank you for being invited for a meal. With the odd exception I tend to be reasonably acquainted with any person who does invite me for a meal and so I make a rather more educated choice over the wine. I may not be a wine buff, but for instance I may know X has a penchant for French red, or Australian Chardonnay. Indeed as such I may well buy the wine with no intention of it being consumed over the meal. The wine is not necessarily a contribution to the meal.

Quote:
If you went to dinner at Bill Gates' house would you take wine? I wouldn't.


On to a slightly less serious point, I would indeed take a bottle of wine to a meal hosted by Bill Gates and I would ensure it was the cheapest nastiest wine I could find and do everything I could to ensure he drank as much of it as possible.

 
ikkan
166288.  Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:18 am Reply with quote

jaygeemack wrote:
Quote:
Just finally since there was a mention above of French (ie blue) movies. Is it true that the Welsh call these "red movies"?

The Spanish word for blue is green, if you know what I mean. A dirty old man is un viejo verde


And in China yellow is used to mean anything er... blue

 
14-11-2014
1216043.  Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:03 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The Dutch don't seem quite so sure what they think about the French.

Belgen has a negative meaning in Flemish, even if they'd like les francophones.

Belgen Belgen? ➤ Are Belgians resentful?

 

Page 2 of 2
Goto page Previous  1, 2

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group