Weird and Wonderful Wine Traditions From Around The World

Whether it’s opening up a bottle for an impromptu celebration, serving a glass (or three) while catching up with old friends, or simply pouring yourself a generous splash while you get the dinner on, we all have our own rituals and traditions when it comes to enjoying a glass of wine. 

Raise a toast

Just why do we raise a toast by clinking our glasses together? Some say the sound was thought to drive out demons. Others say the motion of clinking glasses makes each drinker spill a little of his own wine into his friend’s glass – making it hard to poison somebody without poisoning yourself.  In this day and age, it’s thought that the simple ‘clink’ of the glasses is a way of bringing the fifth sense, sound, into a ritual which already includes the other four senses: sight, smell touch and taste.

Addressing the “seven years of bad sex” rumour

The sinister rumour that ‘seven years of bad sex’ will befall anybody who drops their gaze originates in France and Germany, while in Spain it is believed that toasting with a glass of water will have the same dire consequences. Although perhaps that’s not so bad; in many other countries it is thought toasting with water will result in death by drowning!

Wine on the rocks

Now for a tradition which would make any wine connoisseur shake their head in disbelief. In Japan, ‘wine on the rocks’ is becoming quite the trend. Preferred for its fresher and simpler taste, this unusual combination was revealed in a 2015 report by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service which noted:

‘“Wine on the Rocks” is becoming an increasingly popular trend among consumers in Japan. Suntory Holdings Limited is one of the major Japanese Brewing companies that is pushing this new trend as “the new way to drink wine”, with instructions on how to make the cold wine beverage posted on its website. Denny’s Japan has also followed suit as it is currently offering both red and white wine on the rocks on their drink menus across Japan.’