With Fraser Valley residents now spending more money on wine than beer, according to recent BC Liquor Distribution Branch numbers, it's more important than ever to brush up on wine etiquette for the holiday season.
"Wine is a social part of business at lots of different functions, and it's nice to be educated," said Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti MacAhonic.
To help folks in the local business community bone up on wine dos and don'ts, the Chamber is hosting a special Christmas get-together Dec. 11 that will feature wine tasting, tips on wine pairings and a session on everything you ever wanted to know about wine etiquette but were afraid to ask.
The session is being put on by Kim Murphy, proprietor of the Sardis Park VQA BC Wine Store.
What wine faux pas bugs her the most?
"People carefully select the perfect bottle of wine to bring to someone's house for dinner, and then the host or hostess doesn't open that wine," she said. "That's probably my biggest pet peeve from a wine-etiquette perspective. You've gone out, you shopped for it, you've spent your time, and then the person who gets it puts it on their shelf and opens their homemade bottle of wine."
Other common gaffes that separate the wheat from the wine-culture chaff, she said, include overfilling glasses and serving wines at the wrong temperature.
During her session, Murphy will get participants up to speed on all the wine-manner basics.
"It's just about being culturally aware," she said. "It's about being educated on wine, including the proper etiquette, so you know how to properly present yourself at a business lunch, at a business dinner, at a gathering."
Along with tips on wine manners, Murphy will also be sharing ideas on quick-and-easy wine
pairings for the holiday season and highlighting the 2012 vintage, including an array of perfect-for-the-holiday wines, some of which she only sees at Christmas.
"They're flying out the door right now," she said.
One wine she'll be recommending for the holiday season is Mission Hills Perpetua, a handcrafted Chardonnay from the Okanagan.
"It's your perfect winter white to just sit and sip, have with some brie cheese or even your turkey dinner," Murphy said.
The Chamber's special wine event takes place Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 5: 30 p.m. at Sutton Group (9240 Young Rd.). For more information, visit www. chilliwackchamberofcommerce.com, email email@example.com or call 604-793-4323.