Newport Manners & Etiquette: Wine Glass Etiquette, Rudeness, & 8 Faux Pas

Wednesday, October 04, 2017
Didi Lorillard, GoLocalWorcester Manners + Etiquette Expert

How to hold a wine glass, handle common faux pas, respond to rudeness, and what happens when a vegan falls in love with a meat-eater were all questions to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.

Beyond conventional wine glass etiquette

Q. What is the correct way to hold a glass of wine? It's confusing because I was taught to hold a wine glass by its stem because holding the glass by the bowl warms the wine, but everywhere I look, whether in a pub, fancy restaurant or party, most people are holding on to that bowl of wine and not the stem. What is the modern etiquette for holding a wine glass?  AG, Providence


A. There are actually those who believe that knowing how to hold a wine glass correctly is an integral part of having good table manners. It's as important as eating food using good table manners. And that the manner in how you hold your wine glass says a lot about who you are. The truth is that many of us are apparently holding our wine glasses incorrectly. But with further investigation, I would say maybe not. I'm speaking from beyond conventional etiquette and manners.

Yes, if you are seated at a dinner party or restaurant you would take care in lifting your wine glass off the table by gently clenching the post between the bowl and the stand with your fingers, and then resting the glass with care after taking a sip. 

However, if you're at a mixer event where you're on your feet socializing, networking, and shaking hands, the situation is different. Holding the post (or stem) of the wine glass is riskier than cupping the bowl with your hand. This way you can keep the red wine from tippling over onto your mother-in-law's white rug.

  • Wine experts say that holding the bowl of the wine glass warms the wine - and especially with chilled white wine, rosé, or champagne - should simply NOT be done.
  • I, on the other hand, say the exception should be that when you're on your feet in a crowded space and you don't want to dribble your wine on someone or have someone bump into your glass - cup the bowl from underneath.


How-to guide for handling 8 common faux pas 

Q. Nobody is a bigger klutz than I am. When I can't remember a person's name at a conference, fall-over an antique end table at a holiday party, or arrive home to find food on my new tie that hadn't been there when I left, I'm mortified that I may have been walking around with this unseemly splotch. What do you say after "I'm sorry"?  Name Withheld


A. Here are eight tips that should help you handle or simply avoid the next faux pas that comes your way:

  • When you've forgotten someone's name:  In a group setting socially or in business, bring someone else into the conversation and the two other people will introduce themselves to each other when you say, "Do you two know each other?"  Or ask for her/his business card or to enter their contact info into your phone. Lastly, admit that you're having a "senior moment."
  • When you've taken a fall in public:  As quickly as possible stand up and shake it off with a laugh. Humor and humility go hand in hand. Before wearing new shoes to an event, scuff up the soles by wearing them outside the house first.
  • When you spill a drink or food:  We're all human and we all make mistakes. Make a fast recovery by offering to clean up or pay for the dry cleaning, if you happen to have spilled red wine on your colleague's skirt-suit. A bit of humor goes a long way in relieving the sense of embarrassment that you feel. The same goes for those witnesses who feel for you.
  • When you've forgotten a birthday, social event or left a good friend off your guest list:  With great sincerity say, "Please, forgive me." Even with the best of intentions sometimes we find ourselves so busy that we forget an important milestone, occasion or good friend.
  • When you discover anything you wouldn't want a boss or lover to see: Check your privacy settings on all social media outlets and delete, delete any post, photo or video that could be potentially embarrassing whether it involves alcohol, drugs, too much flesh, sex, or is too religious or too politically left or right wing.
  • When you've mistakenly responded to Reply All:  In a group email, if you make a misstate send a follow-up email apologizing or make it more personal with a phone call or a short notecard.
  • When you falsely assume someone is pregnant:  Never assume anyone is pregnant, has been pregnant, and will be pregnant. Furthermore, refrain from asking about children unless a man or woman has hinted at the fact that they have children. It's a huge faux pas. So don't say, "Do you have children?"
  • When you have a wardrobe mishap:  A broken high heel, store tag hanging off the back of that new sweater, or that the décolleté of your dress is too deep when you're seated, take it as a reminder to do a serious wardrobe check and make sure any fallen hem or shredded pant cuff is mended before worn again.


How to respond to rudeness

Q. How do you react to rudeness? Do you respond by being rude back? Do you call the person out about their rude behavior? Or do you simply ignore the person?  Arlene, Philadelphia

A.  Right back to you. Should politeness and manners really require great effort, or should a person be unconsciously instinctive? Quite frankly there are times when we're irritable because we're stretched for time, grouchy from not enough sleep, or grumpily struggling with some mundane task, and we're plain and simple not feeling considerate of others. There are times when anger gets the better of us.

You received an unpleasant email or phone call, a door was slammed in your face, another driver cuts in front of you. Whatever the provocation, when someone is rude it can push us over the edge, but don't let it get under your skin. Don't let it boil your blood to the point where you become intolerant and retaliate. Think rationally. You have three choices:

  • Respond with rudeness: What do you do when someone is rude to you? Fight fire with fire? Tweet with an even more offensive retort? No, social media tweets are not an art form, but simply a way to let off steam. Don't bother with sarcasm or aggression as it won't help you professionally. If the person is habitually rude, at another time when you've simmered down, talk to him/her about texting during meetings, or being perpetually late for dates.
  • Call him/her out on their rudeness:  If you confront the person about their rudeness, do it humorously or politely. Use tact. "How are doing?" "What's up with you?" It goes without saying that you wouldn't confront the person in front of colleagues or socially.
  • Ignore the rudeness: Especially if it is a single incident, thoughtlessness, or sheer ignorance, such as picking their nose. An exception would be if it was an ongoing problem that needed to be addressed. In that case, the issue will only fester and get progressively worse if ignored. So, it would be better to have a polite conversation. 


As the saying goes, "Rudeness is the weak person's imitation of strength."

When strict vegan falls madly in love with a big meat-eater

Q. Should vegans date meat-eaters? Is it too much of an issue in a relationship? I'm actually afraid to include the fact that I'm vegan on my dating website profile, out of fear that I will be perceived as being too finicky. But when I find out after falling in love with some guy online that he's a real meat-eater, I can't imagine what life with him would be like?

A.  Look into a recent new dating app Hinge, which declares that it is the "anti-Tinder." Its motto, "We have swiped left on swimming and are on a mission to truly connect people in a digital world" with similar commonalities.

  • Communication is key: In an un-preachy way, people need to know how important veganism is to you. It's about others being able to understand where you're coming from. If you're going to live together you totally need to be clear about what you are and are not OK with.
  • For instance, would you mind having any non-vegan products in the house? If that's potentially going to be a huge issue, he should know that because it won't make sense buying two of everything.
  • Would you ever cook meat for him?
  • If he doesn't understand why you're a vegan or disses you for it, then you're wasting your time on him.
  • In that case, you might want to look into Grazer, a dating app for herbivores.


Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.

  • The Changing of the Leaves

    One of the cool things about the fall season is the leaves on the trees and the colors that they change too.

    According to, prime foliage season in New England is late September into early October.

    Look forward to an enjoyable walk around the neighborhood and see how many different colors you can pick out, or just enjoy the beauty.

  • Pumpkin Picking

    The fall season signifies the return of pumpkins. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie and most of all pumpkin picking.

    Pumpkin picking is a timeless event for families, especially those with young kids who will love to just run around and grab whichever pumpkin looks good to them.

    Jaswell's Farm or Barden Family Orchard are great places to get started.

  • The Big E 

    The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts features a circus spectacular, Mardi Gras parade, agricultural competitions, arts & crafts, food contests, live music, and midway. 

    The Big runs from September 15 to October 1. 

    Click here for more information

  • Great Pumpkin Festival 

    The Great Pumpkin Festival at the EcoTarium in Worcester is a must attend this fall in New England. 

    The event features more than 1000 carved pumpkins, live entertainment, family fun with trick-or-treating, displays and more.

    Click here for more information

  • Sam Adams Octoberfest Beer

    One of the fun things about the changing of seasons is the changing of beer flavors and with fall comes Sam Adams Octoberfest.

    The Oktoberfest idea was born in 1810 when Munich celebrated the Crown Prince's wedding with a 16-day party with a special beer.

    Sam Adams builds off of that idea with a beer that is perfect for the season.

  • Phantom Gourmet Food Festival

    The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival is an event to look forward too and it will be held on September 12 from 12- 4 p.m. on two streets next to Fenway Park.

    Tickets are $40 in advance and online and will go up to $50 at the event.

    The ticket includes sampling 100 of Phantom's foods from hot dogs and pizza to pulled pork and more. Beer and wine will be served on the street.

    Get more information here.

  • The New England Patriots Return

    The NFL returns and that means the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots are back. 

    The Patriots have won two of the last three Super Bowls and are heavily favored to win another this season. 

    The Patriots kick off their season on Thursday, September 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

  • Apple Picking

    A great fall family event, especially those with young kids, is apple picking.

    Nothing more fun than grabbing the nicest looking apple that you can find, giving it a quick wash off and then biting into it. Delicious.

    Farm Fresh Rhode Island and Phantom Farm are two great places to go and pick yourself some apples in Rhode Island.

  • Columbus Day Festival on Federal Hill

    Filled with great music and even better food, the Columbus Day Festival is a fall event to look forward to every season.

    The feast will take place from October 7 through October 9. 

    Click here for more information.

  • Fall Boat Ride to Block Island

    Though the summer weather is winding down, there is still great weather coming and great opportunities to get on the ferry and head over to Block Island for the day, or maybe even multiple days.

    Fall trips to Block Island are something to look forward too.

    Click here for more information.

  • Wearing Fleece

    For those nights, or days, where it's just a bit cooler out, there is nothing more comfortable than throwing on a fleece jacket and settling in for a fun day ahead.

    The arrival of fall means it's time to start breaking those jackets out.

  • Drinking Apple Cider

    Can't you already taste it? The sweet taste of apple cider returns with the fall season.

    Head over to your local market and buy some, or maybe you know how to make your own or have your own recipe. Either way, drinking apple cider is something to look forward too.

  • Attend Waterfire in Providence

    Summer may be nearing the end, but Waterfire 

    Waterfire is the premiere event in Providence and if you haven't gotten to one yet during the summer or fall season, now is the time to plan.

    Waterfire is a great night out with different vendors, music and other entertainment lining the city streets while the river is lit up by the fire. For a really romantic and fun night, hop on a gondola ride.

  • The Return of Your Favorite TV Shows

    One of the down sides of summer is that there is very little to watch on TV as far as new shows go. Thank goodness for Netflix and or HBO on demand.

    However, the return of the fall season means the return of all the popular TV shows like Gotham, Game of Thrones, Arrow and several others.

    Look forward to having something to watch at night after a long day at work.

  • Halloween

    Who's not looking forward to Halloween? Not looking forward to dressing up as your favorite character or as just a very spooky looking person and going out and collecting candy to last you days, months and longer.

    Who isn't looking to forward to decorating their houses to make it the creepiest house on the block.

    Halloween is great for kids and adults alike and is certainly something to look forward to.

  • Great Golf Weather Remaining

    The end of Summer does not mean the end of golf season.

    The fall is a great time of year for golfing at Harbor Lights or any of the courses across the state.  

    The fall offers some of the best golfing weather of the year, not too hot and not too cold. 

    Golf season has not left.

  • Harpoon Brewery Oktoberfest in Boston

    Harpoon Brewery will hold their 27th annual Octoberfest from September 29 through September 30. 

    The event will feature Harpoon brews, bratwursts, chicken dancing and German chocolate cake eating contests as well as Oompah music.

    Harpoon Brewery is located at 306 Northern Ave in Boston.

    Click here for more information or for tickets.

  • Roger Waters at TD Garden 

    One of the musical highlights of the fall season is rock n' roll legend Roger Waters coming to Boston's TD Garden. 

    The former Pink Floyd star will play two shows in Boston, the first on Wednesday, September 27 and the second on Thursday, September 28. 

    Click here for more information 

  • King Richards Faire 

    Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn a lot at a fair that is a great fall event for the entire family.

    The Fair runs from September 2 through October 22. 

    Click here for more information 



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