What goes where on
and which glasses go with what drinks
Real easy, the etiquette
experts tell us. The general rule with utensils is to start from the outside of
your place setting, and work your way toward the service plate (the main meal
plate): soup spoon first, then fish knife and fork, then service knife and
butter plate with butter knife
spoon and cake fork
Note that it is often recommended that the salad
fork (J) is placed to the left of the dinner fork (I). However, in this formal
setting the dinner fork is placed to be used before the salad fork because it is
suggested that the guest awaits the main meal before helping him/herself to the
What to do
When to start
Despite what mother
told you, culinary experts say you do not always have to wait for everyone to
begin - start eating hot food when it is served. For cold foods or buffets, wait
for the host to announce dinner, and wait until the head guest starts
Foods you can get by
1. Bread: break
slices of bread, rolls and muffins in half or into small pieces by hand before
2. Bacon: if there's fat on it, eat it with a knife and
fork. If it is crisp, crumble it with a fork and eat with your fingers.
Finger meals: Follow the cue of your host. If finger meals are offered on
a platter, place them on your plate before putting them into your mouth.
Foods meant to be eaten by hand: corn on the cob, spareribs, lobster,
clams and oysters on the half shell, chicken wings and bones (in informal
situations), sandwiches, certain fruits, olives, celery, dry cakes and
Removing inedible items
from your mouth:
pits: drop delicately into your palm before putting them onto your
2. Chicken bone: use your fork to return it to the plate.
Fish bones: remove with your fingers.
4. Bigger pieces: bigger
bones or food you don't appreciate you should surreptitiously spit into your
serviette (napkin), so that you can keep it out of sight.
Which glasses go with what drinks
Wine connoisseurs agree that
each type of wine needs a particular type of glass to bring out the distinctive
bouquet. Using a narrow glass for a rich Burgundy, for example, won't allow
enough room to swirl it around in, and it's the swirl that brings out its
bouquet. The glass also needs to taper properly toward the top so that it
captures the bouquet yet allows for sipping. In general, the stem of a glass
should be long enough to keep hands from touching the bowl, which can affect the
wine's temperature, and therefor its bouquet.
a. Water: full body
glass with short stem. Hold the glass by the stem to preserve its chill.
Brandy: brandy snifter. Roll the snifter between both hands and then cup
it in one hand - warming the glass brings out the bouquet in brandy.
White wine: slightly smaller glass with wider bowl to capture the
bouquet. Hold the glass by the stem to preserve its chill.
Reds and Pinot Noirs: a wide bowl to bring out their complexity. The glass
is slightly taller than the white wine glass.
e. Champagne: a narrow
fluted glass, which reduces the wine's surface area and keep the bubbles from
f. Red wine: the bigger of the wine glasses. Hold the
glass at the bottom of the bowl where it meets the stem.
Now that you have the
correct table setting and the proper wine glasses, see which wines go
best with what food, and then make sure you get the right person to share it