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Wine Pouring Ceremony

Air Force Protocol
from 'Til Wheels are Up'

Wine Pouring Ceremony.

Usually, wineglasses are already filled; but if a wine pouring ceremony is observed, members of the mess and guests will be seated immediately following the invocation. The President removes the stopper from the decanter placed before him/her and the senior officer at each table does likewise, following the President's lead. Decanters are passed from hand to hand to the right, with each member filling his or her glass. Decanters never touch the table until all glasses have been filled and the President replaces the stopper and places the decanter on the table. Club service personnel should be ready to replace decanters as they are emptied, and to fill the water goblets of those who prefer not to drink wine. According to the traditions of Commonwealth nations, only port wine is used for toasting, and another wine is used as the dinner wine. The choice of wines is the commander's prerogative.

When all glasses have been charged, with either wine or water, and the President has replaced the decanter on the table, all members of the mess and guests rise for the toasts.