Ask Sid: Is it proper to invert an empty Champagne bottle into the Ice Bucket?

February 21st, 2018
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Ask Sid: Is it proper to invert an empty Champagne bottle into the Ice Bucket?

Question: When dining recently at a highly regarded Paris restaurant the waiter poured out the last of my Champagne order and then inverted the bottle into the ice bucket neck down. Is this proper wine service?

Answer: Yes this question is an interesting one. I have had several times the same experience as you did. Personally I don’t like it and feel it is a rather lazy way by the sommelier in a busy restaurant to easily see you have finished your wine. Also it almost seems like they are giving you a sign of encouragement to order another. It also deprives you sometimes of the last pour of a few precious delicious drops after the remaining liquid settles at the bottom. Etiquette questions such as this can be quite subjective and therefore are difficult to give you an unanimous answer. Your thoughts or those of others?

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February 21st, 2018

3 Responses

  1. Larry Burr says:

    Concur with Sid. It is poor sommelier technique, and you do miss those last lovely drops.

  2. The sommelier should not do it.
    But I have done it myself as an indication that the bottle is empty and that its sister is needed…

  3. Sid Cross says:

    Yes thanks Charles & Larry for your input. Appreciated. Any sommelier weighing in with comments of justification?

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