Wine Time

The Wine Lover's Bill of Rights

We the Wine Lovers of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Meal, establish better Wine Pairings, insure enogastronomic Tranquility, provide for the common wine service, promote the quality of fine wine, and secure the Blessings of Vinous Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Wine Drinker's Bill of Rights for the United States of America.

The right to be treated courteously and respectfully regardless of the amount of money we spend on a bottle of wine.

The right to devote adequate time to our selection from a wine list.

The right to have wine on our table before our food arrives.

The right to clean, dust- and detergent-free, room-temperature stemware.

The right to taste a by-the-glass selection before ordering.

The right to request that a wine server open a new bottle of a by-the-glass selection if the wine has been open since the day before.

The right to request that the server chill our bottle -- sparkling, white, rosé or red.

The right to request that our bottle not be put on ice.

The right to request that a server not refill our glass until we are ready for it to be so.

The right to refuse service of a cork-tainted, cooked or otherwise defective bottle.

Dear Reader/Wine Lover, the above Wine Lover's Bill of Rights is a work in progress and I encourage you to make suggestions or propose amendments in the comment section. In coming weeks, I'll post on the thought process behind each -- in my opinion -- inalienable right. But I will also post a "Wine Lover's Bill of Responsibilities" and I humbly remind you that just as you are entitled to courteous and respectful service (an overarching right), so too are you enjoined to treat your server with the same level of decorum. This is the social compact of restaurateur and patron, sealed the moment you sit down at the table.

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Jeremy Parzen writes about wine for the Houston Press. A wine trade marketing consultant by day, he is also an adjunct professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont, Italy. He spends his free time writing and recording music with his daughters and wife in Houston.
Contact: Jeremy Parzen