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May 27, 2008 12:07 AM


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  1. Seems like a bit of an over-reaction, but I generally prefer to pour my own as well if the group is 4 or under. Pretty unwieldy with a larger group though.

    Hitchins isn't hanging out with the right women, though, if it has led him to the broad generalization that "Many females, for example, confine themselves to one glass per meal or even half a glass." My wife and many of our friends would certainly prove him off the mark.

      1. Hitchens brings up two separate issues: when a table is engaged in a conversation, especially a table of two, and the server doesn't bother to find a break in the flow of the conversation, or even wait till the end of the sentence before barging ahead and asking his question.

        The other thing...about re-filling glasses does bug me. I recall times when my white wine had finally warmed to just the temp I liked it for the flavors to really start opening up, and the server would top it with cold wine. Or the server would fill the glass too full for me to swirl it. I've since obviated this, as have my friends, by telling the server: "We'll pour it for each other."

        1. I had no idea that the abolition of sommelier (or, in Hitch's drolly derisive phrase, "wine waiter") service was part of the neo-con agenda.

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          1. re: hassenpfeffer



            I agree with the gist of the article. Outside the rare instance where I am already personally friends/friendly with the server or sommelier I will always simply tell the server or sommelier that we will take care of our own wine. Of course, for the past few years, 90%+ of the time that I have been drinking good wine in a restaurant it is because we BYOed and I do think servers and sommeliers are less naturally inclined to involve themselves in your wine consumption when this is the case.