Summer Luxury Drinking Etiquette: Answers to Important Questions Including Can You Put Ice Cubes in Wine?

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by Wine correspondent and Victoria Moore, The Telegraph, June 29, 2017

As the season commences and the invitations to parties and events start to pile up, avoid social faux pas with our essential rules for summer drinking: 

1. Is it OK to put ice cubes in wine?

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No need to be precious here. Yes, if the wine is too warm. Better to cool it than to drink warm wine soup. Put a couple of ice cubes in, let the wine cool, take them out, drink. Do not leave the ice cubes in there to melt. That would be a mistake.

2. When does the rosé season end?

On the first day you realise it’s too cold for bare legs (ladies).
On the first day you notice your partner has sneakily turned on the central heating (men).

3. What do we think of champagne on the rocks?

Thanks to brands such as Moët Ice and Lanson White Label, champagne on the rocks is now a thing, and a very good thing at that. However. Pick your champagne carefully. Cooling a drink right down has an impact on the way you perceive its flavour, and champagne on the rocks works best with sweeter wines.

4. When is it OK for someone to put their fingers in your drink?

It is PRETTY MUCH NEVER OK to put your fingers in someone else’s drink. Yes, putting your fingers in the foam of a sparkling wine can stop it overflowing, but this trick only works because of the interaction between the foam and the fatty acids in the sebum on your skin. So, not a very tasty thing to do. Unacceptable - unless you’re trying to save someone’s new Chloë.

5. Pimm’s. Discuss.

Pimm’s is OK. Kindof, though keep the garnish to mint, cucumber, orange and strawberry if you’re pushing the boat out. Borage is fine too. But it is a touch dreary and feels a bit St Elmo’s Fire era. If possible, please replace Pimm’s with Sipsmith London Cup, which is infused with Earl Grey and lemon verbena and an altogether classier act.

6. And prosecco?

O-V-E-R. Unless you’re buying boutique – say, a cloudy prosecco; or a "real" prosecco from a small, quality-focused producer. But forget the bland, insipid taste of mass-produced fizz. Too boring for words.

7. What to serve thirsty guests?

At many good dinners there is a point when the wine you had planned runs out, and you have to make a decision about what to open for very jolly guests who might not necessarily appreciate the finer nuances of a very good bottle. Jasper Morris, MW, Berry Bros & Rudd’s outgoing Burgundy specialist has the perfect solution: “A magnum of Cru Beaujolais”. He is right: the big bottle says "generously festive" and the wine is good enough, and also refreshing.

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This article was written by Wine correspondent and Victoria Moore from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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