French Dining Manners

May 4th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 380
If you ask the waiter to recork the bottle, and take the half-finished bottle away, I supose he will do so.

However, I've never done that, nor saw anybody doing that. It would be a very unusual request.

Besides, given the price of wine in restaurants, and since you generally have a choice of wine by 1/2 bottle, 1/4 caraffe (roughly two glasses) and by the glass, I don't really see the point, anyway. I would rather order what I'm /we're likely to drink and if I really want some wine back at the hotel, I would buy it for a much lower price in a shop.
clairobscur is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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There's no law in France forbidding to bring around an opened container of alcoholic beverage, by the way...
clairobscur is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 08:55 AM
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I can't even bear to read through most of this thread, but the issue in the U.S. in many locales is nothing to do with open containers, but with whether the restaurant has a license to make "off premises" alcohol sales. In many places (and this varies a lot, so you can't extrapolate your experience in say, New Jersey, with another's experience in Ohio) restaurants and liquor stores have different sorts of liquor licenses. In Georgia some establishments have "dual licenses", meaning that you can either buy and drink on the premises or buy and take home. Only restaurants that actually do significant retail wine business bother to get a dual license.

If you've brought the wine from home you can cork it and take home the remainder (though if you're driving you'll want to store it in the trunk in some locations, as the "open container" rule might apply). The restaurant will likely have charged you a "corking" fee.
Therese is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 09:07 AM
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Wow, chatnoir, your cheapness in keeping and consuming stale wine has pushed you to stoop so low as to accuse me of possibly commiting littering.

Here's a deal, if I run into you in a French street, I'll sprring for a you a fresh bottle or two of those drinks that you mentioned which you apparently like.
May 4th, 2004, 09:30 AM
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yawning, I was just trying to have a playful exchange with you - no need to get testy. I'm sure you drink only the best and most expensive wines when someone else is buying.
May 4th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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That's right, chatnoir. Only the best the finest.

BTW, my original offer to you still stands. However, it will be unlikely that I'll run into you in France, as we've made it a point to stay away from sleazy dark alleys and skid rows.
May 4th, 2004, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Seriously now, NYCFS really interviewed 100 "prominently successful Mahattanites" about the use of travel forums? Hard to imagine, if they are that successful, that they would take the time for such an interview. I can't believe that no one else found this unbelievably silly.

"And, since you made such a foolish statement, I have to assume you don't know any sophisticated and cultured people which says a lot about you and your noticeable lack of education in social manners."

That's even more amusing. How dare this board allow such uncultured, uneducated swine to post here?!?! Of course starting a sentence with "and" could be showing a lack of education, but I'm not an officer with the grammar/spelling police so I don't really care.

I knew this was going to be "one of those" threads and though I have no interest in the topic, I just had to read it and see how the Fodors appointed intelligentsia responded. They have not disappointed.

QC, don't you ever come back here again. The Queen has put you in your place. She is all knowing, all powerful and mighty cultured to boot. All Hail! (oh, and she looks mighty fine in her jeans). Have fun now!
wojazz3 is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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yawning, do I detect a lingering touch of hostility in your last post or do you always try to endear yourself to new friends in such a forceful manner?

Regarding your comment on meeting you on the street, I assume you will be the short, husky fella with the lime green bowling shirt, sweatpants and steel-toed work boots.

And on the matter of sleazy dark alleys and skid rows - please accept my sincere apology for a tragic mishap caused by my not seeing you crawling there and my lack of coins for the pay toilet.
May 4th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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tod: Congratulations with your decision.

chatnoir: I guess that 30 minute internet time that you purchased in your nearest internet cafe hasn't timed out yet for you to make yourrself home and choose amongst which of your previously-opened week-old wine bottle is appropriately aged and ready for drinking. BTW, be careful of those that you collected from the streets - they may not actually contain wine.
May 4th, 2004, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
"I can't believe that no one else found this unbelievably silly."

If I could get my hands on one dollar for every person that ever said this statement to B. Gates, M. Whitman, or any other successful business person doing research on a business proposal, I'd be able to treat every fodorite to a vacation in Europe. What little wojazz3 knows.

I don't see anything unintelligent about beginning a sentence with "and" in a colloquial, conversational environment such as this or any travel forum. Petty try at attempting to put me down or in my place, wojazz. How sweet (and controlling) you are.

wojazz3, even though you're not a fan, I sincerely thank you for reading my contributions here. I prefer having my thoughts and advice challenged to being ignored. Mind you, I never tell people what to do as many people here do. I merely tell them what I would do or offer a thoughtful, experienced suggestion. Any other interpretation is just that, an interpretation. And, clearly, this is one Queen you don't know.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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yawning, I'm very busy today.

At the beginning of each month, I collect my dozen or so half-empty wine bottles and carefully pour the precious contents into a large sauce pan. I heat simmer it on low heat for an hour or so, and pour it back into six bottles which I then re-cork and sell to the winos that live around your house. Should I give you first crack at this month's tasty and aromatic batch?
May 4th, 2004, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
Tod, are you new to the board? You can't derail a thread by offering up your final decision - it's got a life of its own now!
Travelnut is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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111op, the article notes that 500 restaurants are NOW offering the takeaway service (meaning it would be reasonable to assume they didn't do it before). There are more than 500 places to eat in Paris alone, and thousands in France. So in reality, only a fairly small percentage are offering this service. Therefore, the odds are still stacked against the average diner that the service would be offered or even allowed by any given restaurant.
It doesn't hurt to ask, but don't assume it's ok, and especially don't take the "sod it, I'm doing what I want" attitude.
BTilke is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Of course I agree with you, BT, and I think that my posts attest to that -- there's always the implicit caveat that one should be courteous, etc. But the point is still quite simple -- ask politely and as long as the request is not unreasonable, people will be more likely to comply with your request. There's little to lose from asking. I just fail to see objections to asking about taking your wine away based solely on the fact that this is a gauche practice and should never be attempted, etc. I'm not advocating anything controversial, I think, and I don't see why people should spend so much time wondering if this is or is not appropriate. Presumably if a practice is just unheard of or unlawful, the restaurant will tell you nicely. But why assume that you'll be turned down before you even ask?
111op is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Oh my gosh. The correct response is so incredibly self-evident that I am stunned - simply stunned, I say - that none of our esteemed, cultured, widely traveled, omniscient or at the very least presceient, pithy (damn lisp) and worldly fellow posters have hastened to share it. To wit -
Carry along a large heavy duty zip lock bag when you go to dinner; folded properly it will fit nicely in your fanny pack. (You may have better luck and less later leakage risk if you roll it rather than fold it.) Prior to departure from the restaurant, discretely pour the remnants of your bottle into the bag, which you will then slip into your daypack. Of course, you will want to "burp" any excess air to protect the fragile vintage, and it truly is well advised to avoid placing additional items on top of it. When ready to consume your treasured beverage, simply snip (or gnaw)off a corner of the bag and (a) pour into an appropriate vessel of your choice, or (b) stick in a straw, or (c) just hold above your tipped-back head and do your best impression of a Basque shepherd guzzling from a wineskin.

I think we all learned something here.
Seamus is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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111op, merci for the link to that article.

Interesting to see the opposing points of view.

In one corner, the feisty Daniel Karrenbauer, owner of a bistro, Chez Paul, who introduced "doggy bags" for wine: "When customers hesitate before ordering a great bottle of wine or that second bottle, we argue that there is an option - to take it home."

In the other corner, the challengers, the foreboding tag-team of police union representative Yvan "Why? I don't have a dog! People with the leftovers of their bottle - this is truly provincial" Assioma & police officer Laurence "We're not campers" Martin.

Count me in with Monsieur Karrenbauer et les campeurs!
capo is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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"The abundance of hubris and bad advice on internet travel forums is astounding".

No truer words were ever spoken. But it seems that for all the many people posting on these forums, there are just a handful who can be credited with hubris etc.
Scarlett is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 12:34 PM
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And why doesn't hubris rhyme with debris?
capo is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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It ought to, Capo, since hubris is found among the debris of perverted etiquette.
May 4th, 2004, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,242
"But it seems that for all the many people posting on these forums, there are just a handful who can be credited with hubris etc."

I disagree; overt or not, I think there's more than enough hubris here to go around.

If you haven't left the building, tod, thanks for the question.
beachbum is offline  

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