Boy, what a great show we just had on etiquette (listen here.)  Personally, I don’t care how well dressed anyone is, poor etiquette can really break a look.  While you might think of good manners as starting with sending thank you cards and ending with elbows off the table, there is actually a lot more to modern day etiquette than knowing which fork to use.   On today’s show, we talked all about manners and while I’m no expert, I do know bad manners when I see them.  So asked my good friend Melissa Leonard who is an Etiquette expert and an International Protocol Consultant.  She is going to give us some of the most basic etiquette tips and also talk about some modern day faux pas.

Listen to the show now!

Melissa Leonard, Etiquette & Protocol Expert

Also, throughout the show Melissa quizzed me my etiquette knowledge.  We asked our listeners to play along.   If you missed the show, below are the quiz questions she asked me.  If you’re wondering how good your etiquette is (you may be surprised), listen to the show here to find out the answers these questions:

Question #1- If you get up out of your dining chair from the Right, where should you put your purse, on the right or left?

Question #2- You are at a fancy dinner and you take a bite of something that tastes like your husbands socks were tumbled in cat litter.  What is the proper way to spit it out?

Question #3- True or False, you have a year from the date of a wedding to get the newly married couple a wedding gift?

Question #4- Your at a holiday Dinner and your grandmother passes gas at the table. You know everyone heard as well…should you help your dear ole grandma out and make light of the situation, after all, what is family for OR should you act like the incident never occurred?

Question #5- Your at lunch with your girlfriends and one of them is a conversation narcissist. No one can get a word in edgewise…how should you handle the situation?

Question #6- Friends come to your home for a dinner party carrying the exact bottle of wine you brought them the last time you were to their home.  Do you say anything about it?  What is the best way to handle a re-gifting situation?

In addition to Melissa Leonard as our guest, during the show we also talked to Anna Post, the great-great granddaughter of Emily post and the co-author of Emily Post’s 18th Edition and Dr. Susan Rehm from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases about something called Flu Etiquette.  What is the proper etiquette for times when you or someone you know may be sick with the flu?  These two guests shared everything you need to know!

Lastly, Melissa offered me some quick tips with me that weren’t featured on the show:


  • Do learn the rules of toasting.  It is the custom at the beginning of the meal for the host or hostess to give a welcoming toast to the guests.  He or she may stand for a large group or remain seated for a small group.  At dessert time, the host toasts the guest of honor. The guest of honor then returns the toast.  Other guests can then propose a toast.
  • Do wipe your mouth before each sip of your drink.
  • Don’t put both hands below the table.  On the whole, it is considered improper etiquette.  Keep at least one wrist on the table at all times.
  • Don’t tell people where you are going if you need to get up.  Simply excuse yourself.
Wine Etiquette  
  • The sommelier will first show you label.  Look and verify that it is indeed what you ordered and the correct year.  They will typically bring the next year if they run out of the year you ordered.  Many restaurants want their wine list to look impressive (aka, pumping the wine list up) and will have good years on the list, but don’t actually have the wine.
  • Sommelier will hand you the cork.  Smelling cork doesn’t really do anything at this stage and doesn’t carry much value.  Feel the cork for moisture.  Make sure the cork is not dried out.  If it is bone dry, it didn’t age right.
  •  Hold both red and white wine by the stem of the glass.  White because you don’t want to warm it.  Same holds true with red as it should be at room temperature and your body temp can warm it.
  • If the wine appears fine, but you don’t like the wine you ordered…too bad.  Remember you ordered it!  Once the testing is complete, look to waiter and say “very nice” or “lovely”.  He will then pour guests and you last.

For more information about Melissa Leonard and to take her Etiquette Quiz, click here!