As regards the use of wines at dinner, the following rules will suffice. They should be served in the following succession.


Sherry, which must be very cold and decantered. This to be passed with the soup. If a white wine is to be served, it should be given with the oysters and also very cold. This must not be decantered.


Champagne, which should be packed in ice several hours before it is to be used. Serve it in the bottle with a napkin held round it to absorb the moisture. Champagne is passed with the meat.


Claret, which must be decantered and warm, and served with the game and salad.


Madeira, also decantered but of its natural temperature and passed with the dessert.

Mineral waters, such as apollinaris, can be passed at dinner, as some prefer a mineral to natural water. As has been already said, a glass suitable for each variety of wine is placed on the table. This is not the case with the Madeira glasses, which are kept on a side-table, and brought to the table after the glasses previously used have been removed and before sweets are served.

After dinner, when the ladies have left the room and the gentlemen are preparing to smoke, coffee, without milk, is served and carried to the ladies in whichever room they may be.

It may be said in conclusion that the custom of wine drinking during dinner, and of drinking and smoking afterwards, is no longer of so ordinary application as formerly. While still generally retained in the case of large and formal dinners, it is frequently omitted in small, and commonly in family dinners, being considered by many a custom " better kept in the breach than the observance."