Port – a typically sweet red wine, often served as a desert wine.
Port etiquette originates from naval suppers where the Port was always passed ‘port to port’ around the table, i.e. to the left.
After supper the table is cleared and the Port decanter is placed on the table in front of the host. The host then removes the decanter stopper and without serving himself, passes the decanter to the gentleman on his left who then fills his glass before sliding or passing the decanter gently to the individual on his left.
Upon conclusion of its journey around the table the Port decanter returns to the host who then fills their glass before returning the stopper to the decanter. Only at this stage is a toast made, normally a set toast dependent on the day of the week.
One must not drink their Port until the toast has been made.
Should you be fortunate enough to have a lady sat to your left, then after serving yourself you should then fill the lady’s glass before passing the Port on to the left.
Should the Port pass you by without your glass being filled, you should never ask for the decanter back, for it should not change direction. The Port decanter must return to the host without being put down.