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I went out on a first date with a guy and we chose a wine bar. When it came time to order our wine, he asked for a sample. He didn’t like it so he ordered another sample. Four samples later, he finally made his choice. It seemed tacky to me to ask for that many samples, not to mention the annoyance of having to sit there and wait while he went through the process of swirling and sniffing before each drink. He must have seen the look on my face because he insisted it was totally appropriate. Am I wrong?

Asking for samples at a wine bar or restaurant is the same as asking for samples at an ice cream shop. It’s fine to try one or two before making your selection, but more than that is tacky. Instead of continuing to try different wines, your date should have had a conversation with the server about the wines he was interested in. The people working at a place focused on wine should be familiar with the wines they’re serving, in the same way an ice cream shop employee is familiar with the different flavors of ice cream they scoop. By telling the server his preferences, and other wines he likes, he would have eliminated the need to taste four wines before coming to a decision.

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Just because a person continues to offer samples does not mean you should always take advantage of it. I assume this person didn’t get a second date?

Why do people put coasters on top of their drinks?

Bars are incredibly busy places and bartenders and servers are taught early on to remove abandoned drinks from a bar or table as quickly as possible. This is because a clean bar is a good bar — and because the bar might need to wash and reuse that glassware. If you are drinking alone and need to head to the bathroom or step outside to take a call, putting a coaster on top of your glass lets bartenders know you’ll be back. Because bringing a drink into the bathroom with you is just gross.