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Subject: Euro friends- I have a drinking question rss

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Naz and I are watching Elling, which is a Norwegian movie. In one scene, Elling walks to a shop and orders a soda. The girl behind the counter pulls out a large glass, and a bottle, pours a small amount into the glass and leaves the bottle. Naz, who has been to Hungary and Romania said that no matter what he ordered, they would do this. Large glass, small amount of liquid and leave the bottle.
So, is this a European thing? What's the etiquette? Are you supossed to fill the rest of the glass up yourself? Why only a small amount of drink?
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Bruno Abreu
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Could be, but there are also a lot of places were they just give the glass and the bottle.
Some places open the bottle in front of you and pour a bit, then leave it for you to serve yourself.

I am not sure but I always thought that was related to the wine choice you might make. In a good restaurant they bring the bottle, pour a bit for you to taste it (usually done to the oldest man on the table, or the one that asked for the wine) and if you approve they pour almost at half.

When I was a kid I would "taste" my drink (even if it was a juice) before pouring some more to fill the glass.
Come to think of it I still do that... But I don't now if that is the proper etiquette.
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Andy
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I'm not really sure of the etiquette, but this is pretty common in Britain too. You are supposed to pour the rest yourself, but you can do it at your leisure if you so wish.

Sometimes the glass you get won't be big enough to hold all the liquid in the bottle, so it might be something to do with that... or maybe it relates back to tasting wine, where the waiter will pour you a drop first, to taste, and then fill your glass if you are happy.

edit: as Bruno says, sometimes you just get an empty glass.
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I am not a Euro friend, but I have been to Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, and Bavaria where I drank beer almost every meal.

I don't remember what you describe. But I also had most out of the tap.

I have no idea if this may be a reason, but the proper way to put beer in a glass is not down the side of the glass. But when you do this it provides a big head. It may be they only put some in, so the beer doesn't go all over the table, and then you pour the rest. When it's out of the tap, they let it flow, and it just drains because you buy by the size of the mug. But if you buy by the bottle, they will let you pour it.

When buying beer in California by the bottle they do the same thing...but I figure they put more in than what you are describing that you saw in the movie.



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Maybe somehow related:
In Germany there is a law (Mineral- und Tafelwasserverordnung) that mineral water may only be given in their original sealed containers (i.e. closed bottles) to customers. Therefore in restaurants the bottle is opened at the table, not earlier, and it might be strange if the bottle is just opened and not "used", i.e. used to pour some water in the glass.
This law does not apply to table water or spring water (or any other kind of drink), so these can be bought in a glas without buying or seeing the full bottle.

I've seen the behaviour you describe, too, but only occasionally and I think only at restaurants.
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Joe Wasserman
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I don't think he would like that.
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When I was in Denmark, I ordered beer at every meal, but it was usually something on tap, which meant they just filled the glass up from the tap, obviously.

The one time I was at a bar and ordered something that was from a bottle, they brought out the bottle and the glass, opened the bottle, and I poured it myself.
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Vladimir Lehotai
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zorazen wrote:
So, is this a European thing? What's the etiquette? Are you supossed to fill the rest of the glass up yourself? Why only a small amount of drink?

I don't know why it is the way it is, but yes, you're supposed to fill the rest yourself. It's common here in Slovakia too.
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In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?
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Steve Bryce
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zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?

It's up to you - in a pub if you ask for something that comes in a bottle, they often ask whether you would like a glass. I usually decline and drink straight from the bottle. But it also depends on context - in a nice restaurant, I probably would not drink from the bottle.
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zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?
Drinking out of the bottle gives you a different (read:worse) mouthfeel, and you lose the smell (which is an important part of taste).
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Vladimir Lehotai
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zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.

When you order 0,5 l of cola in a bottle, you get what you ordered - the waiter pours something in the glass, the rest is in the bottle. But when you order something from the tap, you get the glass filled because otherwise you wouldn't get what you ordered. The tap is a different situation and it is a matter of common sense.
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Steve Bryce
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Vladimir17 wrote:
zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.

When you order 0,5 l of cola in a bottle, you get what you ordered - the waiter pours something in the glass, the rest is in the bottle. But when you order something from the tap, you get the glass filled because otherwise you wouldn't get what you ordered. The tap is a different situation and it is a matter of common sense.

Except particularly with soft drinks, if you buy a drink in a glass from a mixer tap, and have ice, you can have a range from a couple of cubes, filling the glass with ice and (I have only seen this in touristy places in the USA) filling the glass with crushed ice.

With each of these there is less space for the drink you actually ordered. I've bought a coke in a bar in the US and basically got two gulps of the drink I actually ordered!
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Cynical wrote:
zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?
Drinking out of the bottle gives you a different (read:worse) mouthfeel, and you lose the smell (which is an important part of taste).

Sure, I know that aspect of it. Just wondering about the etiquette.
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zorazen wrote:
Cynical wrote:
zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?
Drinking out of the bottle gives you a different (read:worse) mouthfeel, and you lose the smell (which is an important part of taste).

Sure, I know that aspect of it. Just wondering about the etiquette.

Agree with Steve, it depends on the drink and the location, a bottled beer in a dive: Unlikely to even get a glass, mineral water in a five star restaurant: Probably expected to use the glass.
That being said, I'd be surprised if anyone cared one way or the other (Except perhaps in a literal five-star restaurant, don't know).

For the record, the only thing that ever warranted a comment was my drinking cocktails directly from the pitcher (Apparently that's "uncivilized", pffff), but eh, who cares, life as a boor is sweet (And besides, if we hadn't practically been part of the inventory and family at that point, our server probably wouldn't have felt entitled to comment on it anyway ).
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zorazen wrote:
Cynical wrote:
zorazen wrote:
In the same scene, two people order beer and they are given full glasses from the tap, so I think it's definitely a bottle and glass thing.
Is it rude to drink out of the bottle?
Drinking out of the bottle gives you a different (read:worse) mouthfeel, and you lose the smell (which is an important part of taste).

Sure, I know that aspect of it. Just wondering about the etiquette.
I don't see how there's really an etiquette question? Basically, by drinking out of the bottle, you'd basically be turning down a superior experience for an inferior one.

But I doubt anyone would consider it rude. People would probably think "wtf, that person is strage/probably completely uncultured", though.
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Jan
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Pretty current behaviour as well here in Belgium.

Things from a tap or a big bottle are poured in a glass in full.

When you drink something that comes in a bottle there are a few reasons why they only pour a bit in.

1. It looks classier and you get the feeling you get more. Not only what is in your glass but also what is in your bottle.
2. A lot of drinks are put in a longdrink glass, with the ice and slice of lemon the glass isn't big enough for all of the drink.
3. Because the carbonic acid conserves better in the bottle. If they would pour it into the glass you would loose it much quicker.

Drinking from a bottle can be done but doesn't really happen to much in most bars. It depends of the kind of bar.
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Luke Stirling
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The practice is pretty common here. One thing that I think guides it in this case is that if it's an alcoholic beverage served at a licensed venue then the server is legally obligated to open the container when serving it. Unless you are purchasing from a liquor store you cannot get a closed container of alcohol.
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Peter Brichs
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In restaurants, if it's more posh, you do often get the bottle opened, and then filled half-way.
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