The Masculine Faux Pas (Part I) - Wine & Cigars

Dear Readers,

"The Masculine Faux Pas" is a series of three articles destined to underline the most common breaches of etiquette by us, men.

 Buena Vista Winery, Nappa Valley (CA, USA)

Buena Vista Winery, Nappa Valley (CA, USA)


Wines should be served in the sequence "white before red, light before heavy, young before old, and dry before sweet". 

Keep the wine in perspective with the food; the red doesn’t normally go with fish! 

Wine glasses should be held by the stem in the case of white wines (to practically avoid transferring the heat of your body to the cold wine), and by cupping the bowl in the case of red wines. However, some believe that the finer the drink, the lower the hand should be (e.g. champagne). 

Whenever you’re the wine taster on a table and regardless of whether you know what you’re doing or not, do not forget to swirl the cup and then twist it to look (check the color and the clarity), smell (get an impression of the aroma) and finally taste. 

Never mix your wine with water or ice cubes. 

Unless you’re a championship winner willing to shower your fans, avoid shaking the bottle of champagne before opening it. And whenever you’re asked to open a bottle at a house, save the household items and keep turning the cork slowly until it’s released. The host wouldn’t want to see a crystal luster broken, even on his or her birthday. 

Have you ever seen James Bond drinking a strawberry milkshake at a bar? I doubt it. If you’re a “masculine man”, stick to dark drinks and keep the light and colorful ones for the ladies.  

Whenever you’re at a party or in a drinking atmosphere, avoid mixing base alcohols by sticking to one (i.e. vodka, whiskey, wine, rum, etc.), and that regardless of the flavor(s) you can freely add (e.g. orange juice, gas water, soft drinks, etc.). 

Researchers found that “while the combination cocktail of uppers and downers can reduce some of alcohol's sedating effects, they also found that mixing alcohol with energy drinks can lead to a range of serious health problems like heart palpitations, sleeping difficulties as well as jolt and crash episodes”. (cf.Medical Daily

Whenever you’re out, prevent getting drunk easily by following the basic rules of eating before drinking, having a cup of water between a drink and another, and using the restroom whenever it’s possible.


Smoking Kills!

Cigars should be properly humidified in order to avoid deteriorating fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Therefore, a reliable humidor should be used to preserve the products at a humidity ranging between 70 to 80%, and a temperature of almost 20°C.

When offering an individual cigar, hold it with two fingers on its brand paper. 

When cutting a cigar, do it to give a little air entrance, and not to leave a consistent piece for the cats. Remember that the wider the gap, the larger the inhaled amount of smoke will be.

When lighting a cigar, avoid using gas lighters (butane being preferable) and use wooden matches instead. Moreover, rotate the cigar slightly above the flame (about 45° wide) to light the entire foot, without having the flame touch it. 

When the ash accumulates, don’t push the cigar like a normal cigarette; just put it on the border of the ashtray and turn it slowly until the ash is released. 

When you would like to stop smoking an undone cigar and save it for later, don’t press it down like a normal cigarette, but lay it on the ashtray and wait until it’s off. And whenever you decide to re-smoke the same cigar, cut off the ash (the black part on the top) and light it again. 


Paul M. Klimos