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In France is the trend now to serve water and wine in the same glass?

In France is the trend now to serve water and wine in the same glass?

Nov 16th, 2006, 01:34 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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In the last 12 years I've been in a number of restaurants that only provide one glass - often they're the ones we like best, full of workers having lunch with a litre of wine or two on the table. They will always bring a second glass if you ask. I think most French people would not in the past have had water and wine at the same meal (many still don't) And since this type of restaurant also assumes you will use the same cutlery throughout the meal, why wouldnt you use the same glass?

Tines go face down with forks because if you have good cutlery there will be a monogram on the back. Even with the cheaper ones now the custom still continues. When we set the tables at our local salle des fetes I used to have someone correct my table setting - turn the forks the right way, and move the glass. I would put it at the right side of the setting, my French friends, in the middle. If you put it to the side, they said, no one will know whose it is, and arguments will ensue! Now aI can set up with the best of them.

Finally, the only time you usually see butter to go with bread is if the restaurant assumes you are a tourist - unless that is you are eating ham, or radishes, both of which are eaten with butter.

When I go back to Canada I always forget to put out bread and butter plates - my mother accuses me of picking up barbarian customs in France.
Carlux is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:40 AM
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I was wondering if North Americans have noticed that the French not only set the table with the tines of the fork pointing down, but that is also the way they hold a fork unless eating something like peas. (Meanwhile, I will never forget my Singaporean friends marveling at how I could eat peas with a fork. "We use a spoon!")
kerouac is online now  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:41 AM
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Just ask for another glass. They don't expect yo to use the same glass!
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 02:52 AM
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If you drink enough wine, you will start seeing plenty of glasses on the table.

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 04:56 AM
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Sue, you make me smile. DeborahAnn - do not be tempted to use some of the glasses you see! I also drink water and wine the way you do - and most of the times we drink house wine and tap water - and have never experienced your problem. I have been to Paris last month!
chiarachiara is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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Carlux, we have visited France often and when there I do hold my fork differently than I do in the US. I also don't have a problem with bread without a plate.

I think in the US we are accustomed to having both water and wine with lunch and/or dinner. When there are water shortages many times the restaurants will post their policy regarding only bringing water on request.

When we were in France on previous trips if we asked for both wine and water I am certain we received separate glasses; food quality and service in France has always taken us beyond our expectations even in the smallest towns, the smallest restaurants. On this trip we ate at many different places, in five different regions and having only one glass happened often enough for my "not always so observant" husband to make a comment.

The lack of glasses certainly is not a matter of culinary crisis nor do I want my comments to appear as a complaint; they are not. When we travel we like to be observers as well as participators and this was just one of the many things we observed.

thanks everyone for your comments. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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I guess if you're drinking some house plonk it's not a big deal. But a halfway decent wine can be negatively impacted by water residue in a glass--depending on the mineral and chemical content of the water.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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People with good monogrammed silver set with tines down in the US as well. (not referring to myself here)
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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Foam/plastic is a huge water saver. Next time you are abroad be ready to use picnicware at Maxim!!!
Ziana is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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the tines should go down, not just to show a monogram but after the meal because leaving a fork in a sauce or gravy will tarnish it (if it's silver)
sashh is offline  
Nov 16th, 2006, 06:14 AM
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One of the things that French servers apparently find confusing when waaiting on American diners is that Americans do not know how to place the flatware to indicate to the server whether or not they are finished with a dish. (ie placement of the flatware in relation to the plate)
ekscrunchy is offline  

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