Etiquette Tuesday: When in Rome…

[ 2 ] July 19, 2011 |


Once again Basketball Wives provides me with yet another etiquette tip of the week.  Last night the ladies visited a city that I grew to love after traveling there earlier this year: Rome. The old phrase goes “When in Rome, do as Romans do” and I want to believe that they forgot this when they visited this particular restaurant. The scenario: the ladies dined at a restaurant in their private seating area and were served a vast selection of Italian wines. The ladies began to crack jokes on the chain that the sommelier was wearing around his neck saying things like “Is he wearing a clock around his neck?” “Is that a medallion around his neck?”. Smh (*Shaking My Head).

It’s amazing that people who consume wine on practically every episode would not be familiar with a tastevin.  For those of you unfamiliar with the sommelier world, let me give you a brief history lesson.  A tastevin is used by sommeliers to judge the maturity and taste of the wine.  The tastevin dates back to 300 B.C. and is a wine accessory that is common in the wine makers and sommelier industries.  Now the common person would not know this but how about taking two minutes to put two (2) and two (2) together: there must be a reason this man has a huge silver medallion around his neck and let me not jump to the conclusion that it is simply for decoration.

When they cracked the jokes, I felt awkward and I was not even sitting at the table.  The sommelier simply gave them a confused look and continued with his presentation.  The moral of the story is think before you speak. There is nothing wrong with not knowing what or how something is used, I run into that all the time in the food world, but showing ignorance is unacceptable.  How this could have played out better:

Question: “What is that around your neck?”

Answer: “A tastevin used for testing the maturity of wine”

Response: “Ohh, thanks for that bit of knowledge, I thought it was simply a medallion”…

I’m just saying…

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (2)

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  1. L. Denise says:

    Money can’t buy you class, that’s for damn sure.

    So common.

  2. johnna says:

    Absolutely agreed.

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