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Wine Etiquette: 3 Dilemmas At Business Lunches

A business lunch can give you a prime opportunity to put your wine collection knowledge to good use. Use your passion for wine to impress clients and run a successful business lunch.

Here are a 3 common wine-related dilemmas that can arise at a business lunch.

1. Only one who wants a glass of wine?

There’s a social stigma around solo drinking so you may not want to be the only one ordering wine at a business lunch.

If no one else at the table is keen on alcohol at a business lunch, you basically have two options.

The first is missing out on that desired glass of wine yourself. Match your drink to the table – if everyone else has water, you drink water too. No matter how sad it makes you feel.

The other option is ordering a round of drinks for the table whether they like it or not. You may find that’s all the encouragement people need to join you in a merry glass or two.


2. A glass or a bottle?

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If you are leading the lunch, you may want to order the drinks for the whole table. In this case, do you order individual glasses or make an executive decision about a bottle?

If you want to order a bottle, make sure you ask others at the table for their preferences. Many people have strong preferences over style of grape and colour, so it’s best to make sure you’re not going to order something that your client is going to refuse to drink.

If in doubt or you cannot reach a group consensus, opt for individual glasses. It’s the best way to ensure everybody at the table is happy.


3. How much should you spend?

At a workplace lunch, purchasing a $20 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is going to send a completely different message than a $70 bottle of Pinot Grigio.

So, what price should you aim for? Each work lunch is going to be different and decisions should be made depending on the client you’re trying to impress or the type of meeting you are conducting.

If this is a formal introductory meeting, there is no need to spend up large on alcohol. However, if you’re celebrating a deal or a client’s success, it might be worth splashing out a little.

In any case, business consultant Michael Sherlock recommends staying away from any wine with four-figure price tags.

“You can get what you’re looking for without spending that. If you’re educated on your wines, you can give someone the same experience without spending a fortune,” he said.


By: The Vintec Club

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