If wine lands on the floor…, … I tell my guests…


I have worked for some time in the restaurant industry and do notice my feet after long shifts. My friends say about my service, “…it is the most impeccable.” Still such is not always true. Every so often I open a bottle of wine the wrong way. I’m in a hurry! I have hot food waiting in the kitchen, two tables of guest wishing to talk with me and new tables being seated and needing attention.

So I cut the aluminum, while holding the bottle in one hand, and I insert the trusty spiral corkscrew – the old fashioned one with five turns made in good old Italy.
Pop! The cork springs out and is followed by a stream of wine which lands where it shouldn’t, namely on the floor.
I don’t blush or apologize but tell the guest(s) about the charming Roman custom of spilling wine before dinner. Most haven’t heard of this ritual and are delighted to hear that in fact it was part of the table manner in ancient Italy to spill some wine to please the Gods. As I am pouring the wine I go on to explain that this custom was thought to bring good luck and fortune and was a symbol of sharing.

by helmut schonwalder